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PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 



LIBRARY 



PRISONERS OF WAR IN 
FRANCE 

FROM 1804 TO 1814 
BEING THE ADVENTURES OF 

JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT AND 
THOMAS WILLIAMS 

OF 

ST. IVES, CORNWALL 

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY 

SIR EDWARD HAIN 




LONDON: DUCKWORTH & CO. 

HENRIETTA STREET, COVENT GARDEN 

1914 



t: . . 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

INTRODUCTION ------- i 

THE ADVENTURES OF JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT - - 25 

THE ADVENTURES OF THOMAS WILLIAMS - - "74 

COPY OF THE ORIGINAL CONDEMNATION AND PARDON OF 

THOMAS WILLIAMS AND HIS COMPANIONS - - - 145 

EXTRACTS FROM THE DIARY OF JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT- 1 52 

THE GATEWAY OF FRANCE - - - 352 

CONCLUDING NOTE - - - - - -356 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

FACING PAGE 

VIEW OF GIVET PRISON, WITH THE FORTRESS OF CHARLE- 
MONT, 1804 ----- Frontispiece 

MR. JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT - - 25 

THE CAPTURE OF THE FRIENDSHIP, MARCH 28, 1804 - 33 
From a drawing by John T. Short. 

MR. THOMAS WILLIAMS - - - - - 74 

THE FORTRESS OF CHARLEMONT, 1914 - - - - 8l 

GIVET PRISON, 1914 - - - - - 97 

ST. IVES, 1814 - - - - - - 152 

THE OLD NAVIGATION SCHOOL, ST. IVES - - - 257 

THE GATEWAY OF FRANCE - - - - "352 



PRISONERS OF WAR IN 
FRANCE 

BEING THE ADVENTURES OF 

John Tregerthen Short and Thomas Williams 

OF ST. IVES, CORNWALL 
1804 — 1 8 14 



INTRODUCTION 

By SIR EDWARD HAIN 

Living amongst the seafaring population of St. Ives at 
a time when nearly every man was a sailor or con- 
nected in some way with ships and the sea, it was 
natural that these two young St. Ives men, who were 
cousins, should be attracted to a seafaring life, and 
they were bound in due time as apprentices to their 
uncle, Josias Sincock, of St. Ives, master and part 
owner of the brig Friendship of London. 

The Friendship, a vessel of 150 tons burthen, was 
built at Swansea in 1801, and upon the voyage, which 
was to end in her capture by the French privateer, she 
appears to have sailed from St. Ives on the second day 
of January, 1804. 

Arriving in due course in the Thames, she was there 
laden with Government stores — chiefly sheet-copper, 
said to be valued at £80,000 — and received orders to 
proceed to Devonport Dockyard. 

The year 1804 found this country engaged in the 
long and bitter struggle with France. The Channel 

] 



2 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

swarmed with swift and daring French privateers, 
closely watching convoys of British merchant vessels, 
and seizing every opportunity to cut out and capture 
stragglers from the fleet, so that, in spite of the never- 
ceasing vigilance of British cruisers, the seizure of 
English merchant vessels w r as almost of daily occur- 
rence, and hundreds of British sailors were sent as 
prisoners of war into France. 

This was the fate which befel the crew of the Friend- 
ship, who numbered seven in all — viz., Josias Sincock, 
master, who afterwards died a prisoner of war at 
Verdun; George Dunn, mate; Thomas Cogar, A.B., 
who died in the prison at Givet; the three apprentices, 
who were cousins and nephews of Captain Sincock — 
viz., John Tregerthen Short, nineteen years of age ; 
Thomas Williams, seventeen ; and James Sincock, 
seventeen; with William Sincock, son of the Captain, 
a bo}^ of twelve. 

During the war merchant vessels usually carried a 
number of apprentices as a safeguard against the 
press-gang, who neglected no opportunity to secure 
good men for the naval service; but masters, mates, 
and apprentices of merchant vessels were exempt and 
could not be pressed, so that the only member of the 
crew of the Friendship who ran this risk was Thomas 
Cogar, A.B. 

On March 24, 1S04, the Friendship anchored in the 
Downs, joining a convoy under the command of the 
Spider gun-brig, bound for Portsmouth. 

At this point the narrative is taken up by the two 
apprentices, John Tregerthen Short and Thomas 
Williams, who relate in their journals the story of the 
capture of the Friendship and her crew by the French 
privateer off Beachy Head on March 28, 1804, and 



INTRODUCTION 3 

describe their journey of nearly 300 miles from Dieppe 
to the depot for prisoners of war at Givet, and give a 
record of their further adverse fortunes, hardships, and 
privations suffered during ten years' captivity, until, 
with thousands of other British prisoners sent on a 
march through France in order to avoid the allied 
armies advancing from the east, they reached Bordeaux 
in April, 18 14, to find to their great joy that city in 
possession of the British army from Spain, under the 
command of Lord Wellington. 

On the arrival of the crew of the Friendship at Givet, 
on April 14, 1804, they found a large number of other 
prisoners, including the crew of H.M.S. Le Minerve, 
which vessel was captured at Cherbourg; some of the 
crew of the Harwich Packet, who were detained at the 
outbreak of the war; the crew of H.M.S. Hussar, 
wrecked on the Saints Rocks near Brest ; with many 
others belonging to merchantmen, and also the crew of 
the privateer Recovery of St. Ives, Henry Johns, master. 

The place of their detention is thus described. The 
town of Givet is situated on the left bank of the River 
Meuse, in the Department of Ardennes, in French 
Netherlands. It is a walled town with a single 
rampart, and on the south side of the river is another 
town called Little Givet, reached by a bridge of sixteen 
boats, both towns being fortified and occupied by 
strong garrisons. 

Grand Givet is commanded by the fortress of Char- 
lemont, in which there are barracks and hospitals and 
a small town with a church. The citadel and rampart 
walls are very strong. On the south side it is fortified 
by Nature, the cliffs being 300 yards perpendicular. 

The prison building is situated in a narrow pass 
between the rock of the fortress of Charlemont and the 



4 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

River Meuse, and the only space the prisoners have for 
exercise is a narrow yard between the building itself 
and the river, along the side of which is a high wall. 

"Our provisions from the French/' says Mr. Williams, 
" were very mean indeed, and from the three farthings 
in money per day, paid once a week, they would 
deduct a portion from each man for the repair of the 
prison, etc., and we became so reduced that we could 
scarcely fetch our food from the town. Some three or 
four years after our arrival at Givet we were allowed 
from the English one penny per day, said to be from 
Lloyds, and by this addition to our French allowance 
we may safely attribute the saving of us all from 
starvation." 

The following interesting description of the treat- 
ment of English prisoners of war in France at this time 
is taken from an article entitled " Prisoners of War," 
which appeared in Chambers's Journal for May, 1854: 

" We never met with any reliable account of the 
average number of English prisoners in France during 
the last War, but believe that 20,000 or 25,000 may be 
taken as the maximum, and of these a considerable 
number were travellers and temporary residents who 
were most unjustifiably detained by the Emperor on 
the outbreak of the War. These detenus — officers 
of the Army and Navy, masters and mates of merchant- 
men, passengers and others, were all admitted to 
parole in France under certain restrictions. English 
prisoners, both those admitted to parole and those 
doomed to personal confinement, were sent to fortified 
towns far in the interior, in some cases even under the 
shadow of the Pyrenees, in order that distance from 
the coast might reduce to the minimum their oppor- 
tunities of escape. Yet, in spite of this, not a few did 
contrive to reach England after many hardships and 
dangers. 



INTRODUCTION 5 

"All prisoners were escorted to their appointed 
depots by gendarmes who were picked soldiers, and 
were of two classes, one a pied and one a cheval. 

" Owing to the distance of most of the depots from 
the coast, the journey of the prisoners often occupied 
many days, and was accompanied by every species of 
hardship. Moreover, the gendarmes were nearly 
always severe, often brutal, in the exercise of their 
powers. They not infrequently handcuffed the 
prisoners, and compelled them to march under this 
degrading restraint, being themselves held responsible 
for the safe delivery at the depot of all entrusted to 
their charge. 

" Prisoners on parole were free in the town assigned 
for their residence, having merely to report themselves 
and attend muster, and be ever at hand when required. 

"The common prisoners were rigorously confined 
within the walls of fortresses, and had real reason to 
complain of the wretched accommodation provided 
them in the shape of lodging. 

"Those who were aged or of weakly constitution, or 
wounded and broken-spirited, were soon released from 
their sufferings by death. The prison allowance con- 
sisted of brown — or, rather, black — bread, a small por- 
tion of poor meat and vegetables, and the pay in money 
was a sou and a half — not quite three farthings — per day. 

" From a fund raised by public subscription in 
England, they also received the sum of one penny 
daily, and the masters and mates of merchantmen 
participated in this small but welcome addition to their 
means of subsistence. 

" As brandy and other spirits were exceedingly 
cheap, they frequently contrived to get intoxicated, and 
altogether were most refractory, giving endless trouble 
to the incensed officials in charge. Amply did they 
sustain the proverbially reckless character of English 
seamen. The prison dress consisted of gray jacket 
and trousers and a straw hat. From one cause or 
other, all classes of prisoners were liable to be suddenly 



6 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

removed to a different, and often very distant, depot, 
which was a severe punishment in itself, owing to the 
hardships invariably endured en route. Many prisoners 
died on the way during these removals." 

H.M.S. Le Minerue, previously mentioned, was com- 
manded by Captain Jahleel Brenton, and when em- 
ployed in the blockade of Cherbourg in July, 1803, 
unfortunately grounded upon a shoal at the entrance 
to the harbour during a thick fog. After a severe 
engagement with the forts on shore and a number 
of gunboats from the harbour, lasting nine hours, 
Captain Brenton was compelled to surrender his ship, 
having eleven men killed and sixteen men wounded. 

Captain Brenton and his officers were consigned as 
prisoners of war to Verdun, and the seamen to the 
depot at Givet, where they arrived in a state of destitu- 
tion in the last days of December, 1803, or about four 
months before the arrival of the crew of the Friendship. 

The following copy of a letter written by Captain 
Brenton to Charles Stellard, one of his ship's company 
confined at Givet, exhorting his men as to their 
behaviour under adversity, was preserved by Mr. Short, 

and may be inserted here : 

" Tours, 
" January 10, 1804. 

" I have permission to advance my people some 
money on account of their pay, and Monsieur Peytavin, 
your Commandant, will have the goodness to cause 
you to be paid at the rate of six livres per month. I 
address myself to you as one of my oldest shipmates, 
and desiring you to tell the rest that, although my state 
of health has rendered it necessary for me to remain 
at a greater distance from you, you may depend upon 
it I shall never forget you. 

" This money is intended to make you comfortable 
during the ensuing winter, and I trust will be made a 



INTRODUCTION 7 

proper use of. Let me request of you, then, one and 
all, to respect the situation you are in, to be sober and 
obedient to officers the fortune of war has placed over 
you, attentive to discipline, and patient under the 
misfortune which has befallen us. 

" It is this kind of conduct that gains us respect in 
every situation, and when happier days arrive you will 
remember with pleasure having supported adversity 
like men. 

" Believe me to be, good lads, 

" Your sincere well wisher, 

"Jahleel Brenton." 

Captain Brenton was soon impressed with the urgent 
necessity of providing some relief in their great dis- 
tress for the poor sailors at the various depots, and 
after communicating with the Admiralty in London, 
he obtained permission to procure them necessaries, 
and received certain funds for that purpose. 

In January, 1804, Captain Brenton received a letter 
from one of the prisoners at Charlemont informing him 
of the situation to which they were reduced, when he 
requested and obtained permission to visit Givet, 
where he took certain measures for the comfort of 
the prisoners, the details of which are set forth in a 
letter written to the Transport Board in England. 

" In order," he says, " to insure obedience to the 
regulations, regularity in payment, and good order in 
general, I have placed Mr. W. T. Bradshaw, acting 
clerk of Le Minerve, a young man of excellent character, 
as superintendent, who will pay particular attention to 
the comfort and good order of the people, and have 
allowed him two shillings per day and sixpence per 
league travelling expenses from Verdun to Givet, as he 
belonged to this depot until removed by my appli- 
cation." 



8 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

There is little doubt that Bradshaw, the clerk 
appointed by Captain Brenton, was unworthy of the 
trust reposed in him, and that he appropriated money 
and supplies intended for the prisoners to his own 
use. It was generally believed by the prisoners that 
Bradshaw was dishonest. Mr. Short refers to him as 
a " big rascal," and upon one occasion a prisoner 
complained that he had not received his share of 
some money sent by Captain Brenton, owing to the 
dishonesty of the person emplo3"ed to distribute it, 
when the Rev. R. B. Wolfe, the Chaplain, confirmed 
all that the man had said, and stated that Captain 
Brenton had paid the money a second time out of his 
own pocket. 

Captain Brenton also visited the depot at Bitche, 
and rendered assistance to the prisoners there ; and 
upon one occasion, meeting with ten masters of 
merchantmen in the Forest of Ardennes on their way 
to Verdun, totally destitute of money, and in the most 
wretched apparel, he gave to each of them a small 
present in money for their immediate necessities, and 
afterwards extended the like aid to several other 
masters in the same predicament. 

For some time after the arrival of the St. Ives 
prisoners at Givet, the condition of the depot was 
fairly tolerable, mainly owing to the benevolent efforts 
of Captain Brenton; but the constant arrival of further 
batches of captured seamen soon changed matters for 
the worse, and in 1806 the French issued an order for- 
bidding any further supplies being given to the British 
prisoners by their own country, declaring that each 
nation should support its own prisoners. 

" In consequence of this new arrangement," says 
Captain Brenton, " I settled all m}- affairs relative to 



INTRODUCTION 9 

the prisoners, whose situation became wretched in the 
extreme ; they were now deprived of the comforts to 
which they had been accustomed, they neither saw nor 
heard of their officers, they knew nothing of the con- 
tinued solicitude of their own Government, and of the 
efforts made on their behalf." 

All hopes of exchange had died away, and complete 
despair seemed to have taken possession of the 
sufferers. 

Numbers attempted to make their escape, and some 
few succeeded ; but many were intercepted and cruelly 
treated, whilst additional measures of severity were 
adopted to prevent further attempts at desertion. 

The fact was, that whilst the Englishmen were pro- 
vided for by their own Government, there was no 
hope of inducing them to enter the French service ; 
and all intrigues carried on by the French to seduce 
them from their allegiance proved fruitless, except in 
a very few cases. 

Captain Brenton, who was captured with his ship's 
company after a gallant action at Cherbourg on July 3, 
1803, was released and returned to England on Decem- 
ber 29, 1806. He afterwards continued his dis- 
tinguished naval career, became a Vice-Admiral, and 
was created a baronet for meritorious service. 

It was in December, 1805, that the Rev. Robert 
B. Wolfe, who with his young wife and child had been 
detained in France upon the renewal of the war in 
1803, volunteered to reside at Givet, and to take up 
the position of chaplain to the depot, where at that 
time 1,200 men were confined. 

Mr. Wolfe was aware that he must deprive his 
family of all the advantages which they derived from 
their residence at Verdun, and subject them to many 



io PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

privations ; but the reports which he continually re- 
ceived of the state of the British seamen at Givet 
determined him, in a spirit of self-sacrifice, to take up 
his residence amongst them. 

Here he remained for six years, until Napoleon 
passed through Givet on November 9, 181 1, when 
Mr. Wolfe and his family received permission from 
the Emperor to return to England. 

" On my arrival at Givet," he says, " I found the 
depot in the most deplorable state. Anything more 
degrading and miserable it would be difficult to con- 
ceive, and as regards religion, every appearance of it 
was confined to some twenty Methodists, who were 
the objects of the most painful persecution ; the bodily 
privations of the prisoners, half starved by the dis- 
honesty of the French commissaries, and their want ot 
the common necessaries of life, being equally dis- 
tressing." 

After some difficulty, a room was obtained, and con- 
verted into a chapel, where Church services were held. 
In this room was an oven for the purpose of baking 
bread for the barracks, and the services became so 
crowded that the men would get on the top of the 
oven, where they could not sit upright, lying in a 
most painful position, for want of room. 

The Methodist congregation, amongst whom were 
doubtless the Cornish sailors, while maintaining their 
own form of worship, having their meetings night and 
morning, were regular attendants on the service of 
the Church, and their numbers increased. 

Schools were also established, and between four and 
five hundred men were taught to read and write, be- 
sides arithmetic and navigation in all its branches. Mr. 
Short became a teacher, and here acquired that know- 



INTRODUCTION n 

ledge of navigation which was to prove so valuable to 
him in after-life, when he established the Navigation 
School at St. Ives, famous in its day amongst West- 
Country sailors. 

Mr. Wolfe endeavoured to assist the prisoners in 
a variety of ways, often at considerable danger to 
himself. 

" Traps," he says, " were constantly laid for me, spies 
were everywhere ; and I know that if they could 
allege anything against me I should be denounced, 
and probably, without any explanation, marched to 
the fortress of Bitche in company with deserters and 
criminals." 

But in due time, so great was the change in the 
conduct of the prisoners, that an English visitor from 
Verdun, who went through the barracks, remarked : 

" This is an extraordinary thing. I have been 
through a depot of 1,500 sailors, and have not seen one 
drunken man." 

The cruel policy of the French Government led 
them to make the condition of the prisoners as 
wretched as possible, in order that they might be 
the more easily tempted to enlist in the French ser- 
vice. Some few were drawn away by the offers made 
to them ; the rest, seeing no prospect of release, sunk 
into despondency and sullen discontent. 

Mr. Wolfe states that at one time the men were so 
bent upon it that it seemed as if a sort of infatuation 
had taken possession of them, although he believed 
that the object of most of them was to run away, and, 
if possible, to get home to England. 

A French officer had come to Givet, and had ob- 
tained so many men that he declared he would have 



12 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

half the barracks before Christmas. " I therefore," says 
Mr. Wolfe, " went up one morning to church, and after 
the service spoke to the people about it. It was a 
remarkable thing that not one of those who had pro- 
fessed religion had thought of going, and I asked them 
to use all their influence with the other men. From 
that time we lost not more than one a day, and shortly 
after the officer went away." 

In regard to a frequently proposed exchange ol 
prisoners, the Naval Chronicle of that period says : 

" There is no fixing the French Government to any 
basis of exchange. Every concession on our part has 
produced fresh demands. 

" We have about 50,000 French prisoners of war in 
England; in France there are about 12,000 English, 
two-thirds of whom are not prisoners, but detenus, 
many of them women and children. Even these our 
Government were willing to exchange, when the French 
Government proposed that their 50,000 should be sent 
over en masse for the 12,000, and then afterwards the 
Spaniards would be released. This would enable 
France to man twenty-five sail-of-the-line, and still 
retain the Spaniards, our allies, in her hands." 

The story of the construction of the flying bridge 
by the English sailors to enable Napoleon, his consort, 
and their attendants, to cross the River Meuse is well 
told by Mr. Short, and the following additional par- 
ticulars are related by Mr. Wolfe : 

" The Meuse separates the two towns of Givet, and 
is there a river of some magnitude crossed by a tem- 
porary bridge constructed with boats chained together. 
These were partially removed whenever barges passed 
through, or there was an apprehension of their being 
carried away by flood, and this was feared from the 
incessant rain which fell the day that Napoleon arrived. 

" The inspector of the bridge was called, and Caulin- 



INTRODUCTION 13 

court asked him if there was any fear of the bridge, and 
he said, ' No.' * Will you answer for it ?' 'I will.' But 
about three o'clock in the morning the bridge went 
down. A consultation was then held. What could be 
done ? Caulincourt flew into such a dreadful rage that 
he struck the inspector. 

" No means could be suggested for reinstating the 
bridge, which was carried down the river by a current 
totally irresistible. 

" The Director of Fortifications was sent for. ' You 
will do nothing,' said he, 'except you send to the 
barracks and get some of the English prisoners.' 
Caulincourt was surprised. ' Will you answer for 
them ?' he asked. ' With my head,' was the reply, and 
our honest fellows fully answered to his confidence. 

" Thirty of them were immediately set to work, some 
up to their necks in water, others in boats, at one time 
swimming to a place they could not otherwise reach, 
at another diving to a depth to carry on their work. 
The windows of my lodging commanded a view of the 
bridge, and it was thus occupied that I found them 
when I awoke in the morning. 

" I crossed the river in a boat, but was unable to get 
near the house occupied by the Emperor, who came 
from time to time to the window, looking with astonish- 
ment at the activity and exertions of the sailors. 

"Napoleon afterwards went down to the river, and 
here a very interesting scene was offered to us, and 
one which exhibited in a strong and gratifying point 
of view the character of the British sailor. The English 
were still working at the bridge, which they had nearly 
finished. He began to talk to one of them through 
Mortier, and they all came round him. And now, any 
one of these men, who would have gone up to a cannon's 
mouth to have destroyed this enemy in battle, might 
with one push have sent him to the bottom of the 
Meuse; yet far from having any evil thoughts towards 
him when he confided in their good faith, they were a 
sort of guard of honour to him as he passed the river. 



H PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

" And so great was the confidence that he had in 
them that he would have no one else about him, and 
there was not a single Frenchman allowed to be upon 
the flying bridge which they had constructed to bring 
him over. 

" And now these great ones of the earth quitted the 
place, leaving everyone full of joy and loud in the 
praises of Napoleon, except the inspector of the bridge, 
who was in a state of very sad depression. 

"The English were in great delight, daily expecting 
their passports. At length they arrived, and only 
twelve of the men had their liberty. They were, 
however, to be clothed in handsome sailors' clothes, 
and money given them for their journey." 

Among the prisoners at Givet on the arrival of the 
St. Ives sailors on April 14, 1804, were the crew of the 
H.M.S. Hussar, which vessel, a new 38-gun frigate 
commanded by Captain Wilkinson, when on her way 
home from the coast of Spain, carrying despatches 
from Admiral Sir Edward Pellew, with orders to com- 
municate with the Channel Fleet, then blockading 
Brest, struck, in dark and hazy weather, on the Saints 
Rock and became a total wreck. The majority of the 
crew reached the shore, where the}- fell into the hands 
of the French, the officers, as usual, being sent to 
Verdun, and the sailors to the depot at Givet. 

One of the senior midshipmen of the Hussar was 
Mr. Donat O'Brien, afterwards Captain O'Brien, being 
promoted subsequently to the rank of Rear-Admiral 
for distinguished service. 

Owing to a mistake on the part of the French as to 
his rank, Mr. O'Brien was at first sent to Givet with 
the sailors, but was removed to Verdun in July, 1S04. 

Captain O'Brien published the story of his adventures 
in 1839, and in 1902 it was reprinted, being edited 



INTRODUCTION 15 

by Charles Oman, Professor of Modern History at 
Oxford. 

Mr. O'Brien made his first attempt to escape from 
Verdun, his second when on the march, and the 'third 
and successful attempt from the mountain fortress of 
Bitche, crossing South Germany in safety, and ulti- 
mately reaching Trieste on November 7, 1808, where he 
took passage for Malta in the gun-brig Spider, doubtless 
the same vessel which convoyed the fleet of merchant 
vessels, including the brig Friendship, from the Downs 
on March 28, 1804. 

In his preface to O'Brien's book Professor Oman 
says : 

" I imagine that no prisoner ever made three such 
desperate dashes for liberty as did this enterprising 
Irish midshipman." 

But had the Professor been acquainted with the history 
of the four equally desperate attempts to escape made 
by the young sailors, Thomas Williams, Henry Blight, 
and Robert Burns, once from Givet, once from the 
fortress of Charlemont, once from the prison at Thilt, 
and once from the mountain fortress of Briancon, had 
read the story as related by Thomas Williams of their 
condemnation to six years in irons, and of their further 
sufferings and privations upon the march and in 
dungeons during ten years' captivity, he would, I 
venture to think, confess, without detracting in any 
way from the merit of the exploits of the gallant 
O'Brien, that here were adventures even more re- 
markable. 

It was O'Brien's escape that suggested to Captain 
Marryat a great part of the plot of " Peter Simple." 
In that excellent romance Peter is made to escape from 
Givet in company with a friend named O'Brien. 



\6 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

Captain O'Brien tells with much humour the story 
of the manner in which they celebrated the King's 
birthday at Givet in 1804, and as the St. Ives sailors 
must have taken part in the demonstration to which he 
refers, I venture to repeat it in his own words : 

" At length arrived the glorious 4th of June, the birth- 
day of our Sovereign, George the Third, and for this 
one day at least were our sufferings forgotten and our 
sorrows cast to the wind. We were resolved if pos- 
sible to make some demonstration in honour of the 
day, and at last, low as were our pecuniary circum- 
stances, we did contrive to give a birthday dinner to 
the Commandant and to the Paymaster of the depot. 

"The day altogether passed off very agreeably until 
about sunset, when the time arrived for locking the 
seamen up in the different wards of the gaol. They 
now gave three tremendous cheers, which flowed from 
the heart, in commemoration of the day that gave birth 
to their Gracious Sovereign, and as the last cheer 
stunned and terrified the astounded Frenchmen, they 
hauled in the colours of different nations that they had 
kept all day streaming out of each window, taking care 
to have the French tri-coloured flag under all, which 
was never noticed by either Commandant or guards. 
The enthusiastic cheers of nearly a thousand men 
made a most powerful noise ; it was music to our ears 
as we sat at table. 

" The Commandant, who was greatly alarmed, 
imagined that the seamen had revolted and had 
actually got out of prison, and so great was this 
officer's hurry that he made but one step from the top 
of the stairs to the bottom. 

" We had some trouble in getting him on his legs 
again, and were greatly rejoiced in finding that he had 
received no injury, assuring him there was no founda- 
tion whatever for his fears. 

"However, he would be convinced in person, and 
was rejoiced, on going to the prison, to find everything 



INTRODUCTION 17 

perfectly tranquil. Being returned, he observed that 
the English were ' des braves gens,' and he would 
drink another glass of wine in commemoration of King- 
George's birthday." 

Being at Ostend at the end of August, 1913, and 
having the St. Ives prisoners of war in my mind, 
I went to look at the entrance to Nieuport River, 
where Thomas Williams and his companions un- 
successfully tried to seize a boat. Then followed 
them in imagination along the coast towards Ostend, 
where amongst the sandhills they were recaptured 
by the Custom House officers, and lodged in the town 
jail. 

The idea then occurred to me to pay a hurried visit 
to Givet, and finding, upon consulting a map, that it 
was only an easy two days' motor-run, I went by way 
of Bruges, Ghent, Brussels, Namur, and Dinant, the 
road running for many miles along the left bank of the 
Meuse, then crossing the Belgian frontier into France, 
I found myself one hot afternoon upon the bridge 
connecting the two towns of Givet. 

The usual curious crowd collected, and, upon making- 
inquiries, it was positively asserted that not even the 
oldest inhabitant had ever heard of English prisoners 
of war being confined at Givet, or of a prison such as 
had been described. 

They were quite voluble about it, talking excitedly 
amongst themselves, and were agreed that monsieur 
was labouring under some strange delusion. 

The fortress of Charlemont still dominates the town, 
but everything relating to the English prisoners of 
one hundred years ago has apparently been forgotten. 

It was very disappointing, and what was to be done ? 
The Motel d'Angleterre in the hot and dusty square 



i8 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

did not look inviting, but there might be a possibility 
of tea, and further inquiries could be made. 

Yes, madame would be charmed, and her husband, 
divesting himself of his coat and putting on an apron, 
set about preparing the meal. 

Madame was sympathetic, but not helpful ; she 
also had never before heard of English prisoners 
of war. 

Then the daughter of the house produced the inevit- 
able picture-postcards, and amongst them were several 
views of the very place we desired to see. 

There could be no possibility of mistake. Mr. Short, 
who had a natural gift for drawing, has left several 
sketches of the prison, and here it was depicted upon 
a modern postcard. 

Explanations ensued, and following the most careful 
instructions, we climbed the steep ascent of Charlemont, 
and, crossing the drawbridge, were taken by a sentinel 
to the guard-house, and then, having obtained the 
desired permission, were conducted by a soldier 
through the fortress to the gateway on the other side. 
Charlemont is an extensive place, and in ancient 
days must have been of great strength and of consider- 
able military importance. The little church mentioned 
by the St. Ives prisoners still stands, but is no longer 
used ; the windows are boarded up, and the building in 
need of repair. 

Crossing another drawbridge and descending by a 
zig-zag path to the lower road, we there came upon 
the long barrack building in which, from 1804 to 18 14, 
hundreds of English sailors, prisoners of war, had 
been confined. 

The main road to Paris, along which Napoleon and 
his Consort were slowly driven in full view of the 



INTRODUCTION 19 

prisoners, who crowded the windows with heads un- 
covered, lies between the building and the rock of 
Charlemont, the yard in which the men exercised being 
upon the river side, the only material change appar- 
ently being the modern railway which tunnels under 
the fortress and runs parallel for some distance with 
the road. 

The barrack building was crowded with soldiers, 
sentries being placed at various points. I did not seek 
admittance, having seen enough for my purpose ; and 
it was this visit to Givet which inspired me with fresh 
interest in the journals of the two St. Ives prisoners 
whom I very well remember, and with a new resolve 
to publish them in some suitable form in order to 
preserve them from almost certain oblivion. 

These journals were evidently written from memory 
some considerable time after the return of the men to 
England, as they would have little or no opportunity 
to record their daily experiences when in captivity, 
and with the recollection of their sufferings softened 
by time, many things probably were omitted which 
would be of the deepest interest now ; but it certainly 
is strange that Mr. Short does not refer in any way to 
the escape of his cousin and his two companions from 
Givet, their recapture, trial, and condemnation to six 
years in irons, and their second escape from the fortress 
of Charlemont, as these events undoubtedly created 
some sensation at the time. 

It would be interesting also to know the story of 
the capture of the privateer Recovery of St. Ives, Henry 
Johns, master. Eight of her crew died prisoners of 
war, and another, Henry Blight, was the constant 
companion of Thomas Williams in all his attempts to 
escape. Passing reference is made to a Captain Henry 



20 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

Stevens, of St. Ives, who had been captured with his 
ship and crew, but no particulars are given. 

Of the other members of the crew of the Friendship, 
Captain Sincock died at Verdun, and Thomas Cogar, 
A.B., died at Givet ; but from the date of their capture, 
George Dunn, the mate, and James Sincock, the other 
apprentice, are never mentioned, although they were 
doubtless at Givet the whole time. William Sincock, 
the boy of twelve, who was sent to Verdun with his 
father in 1804, was met with when on the march to 
Bordeaux in 18 14. But I am confident from what I 
have heard that the two Sincocks returned to St. Ives 
with the others. Mr. Short says, at the close of his 
narrative, that on his arrival home he found that his 
aunt, the wife of his old commander, had died only a 
few hours before, and the story, as told to me, is that 
W T illiam Sincock's hand was upon the door-latch when 
his mother died, and she never saw him. 

I have now before me a small pocket-book in which 
Mr. Short, while still at Givet, entered an outline of 
his experiences up to that time. It is inscribed as a 
gift from Charles Jessop in Givet prison June 20, 1812, 
and must have been carried by Mr. Short in his 
subsequent wanderings. In it he gives a complete 
list of the prisoners, over 300 men, who died at Givet 
from 1804 to ^H, an d in this volume I give the names 
taken from this list of the fifteen Cornish sailors who 
died there. 

Mr. Williams somehow contrived to preserve the 
original pardon of the Emperor Napoleon, which is in 
the possession of his son, Colonel H. W. Williams, J. P., 
and the now faded rosette which was fastened to his 
breast in the Great Hall at Grenoble in token of that 
pardon is still treasured by his family. 



INTRODUCTION 21 

Mr. Williams died in 1862. My remembrance of him 
is rather dim, but is of a man silent and reserved, of a 
kindly disposition, and of whom we young people stood 
somewhat in awe, being a man of strange and wonderful 
experiences. 

Mr. Short died in 1873, and of him my recollection is 
much clearer. One incident stands out in my memory. 
He was sitting in his garden without a coat, but in 
white shirt-sleeves, an open waistcoat front with a 
large black cravat, and wearing a tall hat, all after the 
fashion of sailing-ship masters of those days, and while 
smoking his long churchwarden, he related to my 
cousin (his grandson) and myself how the sailors at 
Givet had to make uniforms for French soldiers, and 
how his first attempt at tailoring led to his being 
severely punished because he had placed the button- 
holes round the tail of the jacket instead of down the 
front, and when telling the story the old gentleman 
shook with quiet laughter at the remembrance. 

I did not then know that he had written the story 
of his adventures, or I might have asked a hundred 
questions about them. Mr. Short had a natural gift 
for drawing, and some of his sketches are reproduced 
in this book. 

I am indebted to Messrs. Hatchards of Piccadilly for 
procuring for me "English Prisoners in France," by 
Rev. R. B. Wolfe, and "A Memoir of Admiral Sir 
Jahleel Brenton, Bart.," by Rev. Henr}' Raikes, both 
published by their firm in 1830 and 1846 respectively, 
and for their kind permission to make what extracts I 
desired from these books. 

Other books which I have read on this subject are — 
" My Adventures in the Late War," by Captain O'Brien, 
published by Edward Arnold ; " The Depot for Prisoners 



22 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

of War at Norman's Cross," by T. J. Walkes, M.D. ; 
"Napoleon's British Visitors and Captives," by J. G. 
Alger, both published by Constable; "A Century of 
Lloyds' Patriotic Fund," which was kindly sent to me 
by the author, Mr. Herbert de Rougemont of Lloyds, 
and the article in Chambers's Journal for 1854, entitled 
" Prisoners of War." 

On establishing the School for Navigation at St. 
Ives, Mr. Short commenced a diary of local events, 
kept after the manner of a ship's log, and for a period 
of fifty-five years, from 1817 to 1872, these records were 
continued almost without a break. 

The diary forms a local history for that period, 
containing accounts of the borough elections, reports 
of the various fisheries, of the capture of smugglers, 
gives the names of the large fleet of vessels then 
belonging to the port, with the still familiar names of 
their owners, masters and crews, tales of shipwreck 
and loss of life, with many a brief account of some 
romance or tragedy of the sea. 

These records are, I think, of more than local interest, 
and should be preserved. I have therefore included 
the more important extracts in this volume. 

The preparation of this book for publication has 
been a real pleasure to me, and I hope it will not be 
considered that I have done amiss in endeavouring to 
preserve in more permanent form these records of the 
adventures of the St. Ives prisoners of war in France. 



Since writing the above I have read an interesting 
article which appeared in the United Service Magazine 
for June, 1914, entitled "British Naval Prisoners of 
War under Napoleon," by Commander Henry N. 
Shore, R.N. (retired). 



INTRODUCTION 23 

In this article reference is made to the benevolent 
efforts of Captain Brenton on behalf of the unfortunate 
prisoners ; to the labours of the Rev. R. B. Wolfe ; 
and to the murder of Mr. Haywood ; but it contains 
no material addition to the narratives of the St. Ives 
prisoners, except a statement made by Napoleon when 
himself a prisoner of war at St. Helena, as to the con- 
struction of the flying bridge by the English sailors, 
to enable him to cross the River Meuse in the year 
181 1, taken from "Napoleon in Exile,'' by Barry 
O'Meara, 1822. 

This statement, in the Emperor's own words, is as 
follows : 

" I was very anxious to depart, and ordered all the 
boatmen of the place to be assembled, that I might be 
enabled to cross. They said the waters were too high, 
and that it would be impossible to pass for two or 
three days. I questioned some of them, and soon dis- 
covered that they were fresh-water sailors. I then 
recollected that there were some English prisoners in 
the place, and ordered that some of the oldest and best 
seamen among them should be brought before me to 
the banks of the river. The water was very high, and 
the current rapid and dangerous. I asked them if they 
could join a number of boats, so that I might pass over. 
They answered that it was possible, but hazardous. I 
desired them to set about it instantly. In the course 
of a few hours they succeeded in effecting what the 
other imbeciles had pronounced impossible, and I 
crossed before the evening was over. I ordered those 
who had worked at it to receive a sum of money each 
and their liberty." 

It is probable that the Emperor was asleep at Little 
Givet when the bridge of boats was swept away, and 
we know that it was the Director of Fortifications 
who suggested to Caulincourt that the English sailors 



24 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

should be sent for. It must be further remembered 
that Napoleon was on one side of the river, which was 
in strong flood, and the prisoners on the other, so that 
he was not in a position to communicate with them 
until after they had constructed the flying bridge ; and 
from Mr. Short's narrative we gather that the oldest 
and best seamen were not selected, but that the men 
were taken haphazard from the corridors in the prison 
nearest to the bridge. 

The incident seems to have made an indelible im- 
pression upon the Emperor's mind, and, as usual, he 
was quite ready to take the entire credit to himself for 
a successful achievement. 

I am indebted to Commander Shore's interesting 
article for calling my attention to the Emperor's 
version of the incident at Givet, as given by him to 
O'Meara at St. Helena. 



Treloyhan, 

St. Ives, Cornwall, 
1914. 




MR. JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT. 



THE ADVENTURES OF 
JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 

OF ST. IVES, CORNWALL 

PRISONER OF WAR IN FRANCE FROM MARCH, 1804, TO 

MAY, 1814 

Saturday, March 24, 1804. — On board the brig Friend- 
ship, of London, Josias Sincock, master ; came to an 
anchor in the Downs, and joined convoy under the 
command of the Spider brig-cutter, destined for Ports- 
mouth. 

Sunday, 25. — Strong gales from the northward and 
westward ; let go our sheet anchor. 

Monday, 26. — More moderate. Hove up our sheet 
anchor, and rode to the best bower. 

Tuesday, 27. — Little or no wind. Got off from Deal 
a new long-boat. 

Wednesday, 28. — At 5 a.m., by signal of the Com- 
modore, we were ordered to get under weigh, the fleet 
numbering over twenty sail of merchantmen. Wind 
E.N.E. 

At half-past seven on the evening of the same day, 
Beachy Head. Bearing N.W. by W., four miles and 
a half, we saw a strange sail in our wake in chase of 
us. In a short time she came up and boarded on our 
larboard quarter. The crew confined us below, placing 
sentinels over the companion and fore-scuttle. The 

25 



26 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

vessel proved to be a French lugger, privateer. They 
wore ship immediately, and made for the French coast. 

Thursday, 29. — In the morning early they ordered us 
all into the forecastle, they being seven in number and 
seven of us; but during the night they confined us as 
follows : four in the cabin, two in the steerage, and one 
in the forecastle, so we could not determine the 
number on board. As soon as we came well in for 
the French land, they examined our clothes and took 
from us what articles they thought proper. The}'' 
even made my cousin, James Sincock, take off his 
watch, coat, and short jacket, and give to them. At 
2 p.m. we arrived at Dieppe, where our few remaining 
articles were strictly examined by the Custom House 
officers, after which they ordered us on shore on the 
quay, when we were delivered up to an officer and a 
guard of soldiers, who escorted us to the town jail, 
where we met with two other ships' companies who 
had been taken by the same privateer, the La DolpJi, 
of Boulogne. The first we were acquainted with — 
viz., Captain William Jenkyns, of Clovelly, captured 
in the brig Lisbon Packet, from London, bound for 
Falmouth with a general cargo ; the other was Captain 
George Carter, of Exeter, of the brig Margaret, letter 
of Marque, of London, from Zante, laden with currants, 
bound for London, the whole of us numbering twenty- 
five. At 4 p.m. all, excepting the three Captains, 
William Sincock, a son of our Captain, a son of 
Captain Carter, and a passenger, were locked up in 
a stinking jail, the smell of which was enough to 
occasion sickness, and where we had to encounter 
a host of vermin of all kinds. 

The next day we spent in a small yard, and at night 
were locked up in the same dungeon as before, with 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 27 

three French soldiers, who were confined for some 
misdemeanour in the town. 

Saturday, 31. — Early in the morning one of these 
soldiers took from one of our party a piece of rope 
which tied his things together, and then began to beat 
some of us with it. A row commenced, and the soldiers 
were overpowered, and the Commandant then gave 
orders that we were not to be allowed to come out 
of our cell for the day, but about ten o'clock his 
passion had somewhat abated, and he gave orders to 
the jailer to liberate us and serve out our daily rations. 
We then received a visit from one of the privateer's 
men, entirely clothed from head to foot in our clothing. 
At 4 p.m. we were ordered to our own den as before. 

Sunday, April 1. — Easter Sunday. — We were ordered 
by the jailer to get ready for marching. After being- 
served with our allowance for the day, we were de- 
livered to a Lieutenant and a guard of foot soldiers, 
and marched into the town, where we found a cart pro- 
vided to carry our few remaining things. We com- 
menced our march through a very delightful part of 
the country, the wheat being nearly knee high, but the 
road heavy and dirty after heavy rain. Each Captain 
gave to each of his ship's company seven shillings, 
which we found very acceptable. 

At 5 p.m., after journeying twenty-four miles, we 
came to the town of Eau, and were locked up in the 
town jail, which far surpassed in horrors the one at 
Dieppe ; it was so dark we could not distinguish each 
other a yard apart. 

Monday, April 2. — At 8 a.m. we were mustered in 
the street, and many spectators flocked from all parts 
of the town to gaze upon us. Some seemed to com- 
miserate our youth and situation, while others were 



28 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

highly pleased at our downfall. After another day's 
march of twenty-four miles, attended with rain, we 
arrived at the town of Abbeville. They beat the drum 
before us, and marched us into the town two deep. 
What they beat on the drum is called in England the 
" Rogues' March," but in France they call it the 
" Honours of War." 

After being examined by the Commandant, we were 
taken to the town jail, and there placed ten men in a 
cell. In each cell were two doors, both strongly 
bolted, and the only light came through a small square 
hole cut in each door. Wet and cold as we were, we 
were turned into these dungeons, having scarce room 
enough to lay down to rest our wearied limbs. 

Tuesday, April 3. — About 9 a.m. a young English 
woman came to the jailer's house, saying her mistress 
had been informed that there were English prisoners 
in the town jail, so she sent by her servant two large 
loaves of wheat bread and two bottles of excellent 
wine, and the girl distributed the whole amongst her 
countrymen, by which means I obtained a very good 
breakfast, the first since being made a captive, and she 
informed us that it was the intention of her mistress, 
if we did not quit the town that day, to provide each 
of us with a good dinner, and she was very sorry she 
did not hear the evening before of our being in the jail. 
This lady had been detained in France at the com- 
mencement of the war by an order from the Govern- 
ment, but had obtained permission to return to her 
native country, if she thought proper to travel through 
Germany, but she was waiting in expectation of get- 
ting a grant to cross the Channel. Soon after the 
girl's departure, the guards came and mustered us in 
the street, and we began our journey through a 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 29 

delightful country, abounding chiefly in corn, with 
scarcely a hedge of any description to be seen. All 
their lands are determined by landmarks, no cattle 
grazed without a herdsman with them, nor sheep with- 
out a shepherd to attend the flock. 

After a journey of nine miles we reached a village, 
and were taken to a farmer's house, there being no 
prison, and lodged upon some straw for the night ; 
this was the best night's lodging since I left the 
Friendship. 

Wednesday, April 4. — We proceeded on our journey 
towards a city called Arrass, the capital of Artoise, a 
strongly fortified place, the first we had met with. In 
the town jail we found a great number of criminals 
and deserters from the French Army, but we were 
conducted to an upper room entirely separated from 
them, and were pretty well accommodated with 
straw. 

Thursday, April 5. — Each man served with his pound 
of brown bread, but, although very hungry, this bread 
proved rather unpalatable, being wetted with the dregs 
of the wine, which made it very acid. After a journey 
of twelve miles we arrived at Douay, and were con- 
ducted to the jailer's house, where we purchased some 
soup at twopence per quart, which I thought at the 
time was very good, but reall}', in my opinion, if it was 
served to a hungry dog he would not eat it. I will tell 
you how they prepare this soup : first, they take a piece 
of butter or fat and fry that in the pan, then add a few 
small onions or some garlic, and after frying for some 
time, they add about two gallons of water ; and as soon 
as it boils it is fit for use, which confirms the old pro- 
verb that " Hunger needs no sauce." 

At night we took up our lodging on the bare floor 



3 o PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

without an}" straw ; the sentry sat by the fire all night. 
The three Captains hired lodgings in the jailer's 
house, and so well were they tormented with vermin 
that they acknowledged our situation to be better than 
theirs. 

Friday, April 6. — We lodged a complaint to our 
guard concerning the jailer, who detained our Cap- 
tain's bag of clothes because he refused to pay two 
and sixpence which the rascal of a jailer wanted for 
the wood which the sentinel had burnt during the 
night. One of our guards then rode up to the jailer's 
house, and the man very submissively delivered up 
the bag, and we proceeded on our journey to a town 
called Dullen. 

Saturday, April 7. — Our journey continued through 
a pleasant and fertile countr}', chiefly pasture-land, 
with good roads, having trees planted on either side at 
a distance of six fathoms asunder, the greater part of 
them apple-trees. Our guards were now Italians in 
the service of France, and remarkably good they were 
in carrying the youngest boys behind them on their 
horses. After a march of eighteen miles we came to 
the gates of the Cit} r of Cambray, the capital of Cambris, 
where the Cambric first took its name from. We 
halted for the rest of our party to come up, and were 
then taken to a subterranean vault ten feet under the 
surface, and here remained all night, except the three 
captains, the three boys, and the passenger. Part of 
the city walls near the entrance gates were very much 
out of repair, occasioned, as I was informed, by the 
British forces when on the Continent, commanded by 
the Duke of York, in 1793. 

Sunday, April 8. — Early in the morning we left Cam- 
bray, in charge of the same guards, and marched over 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 31 

an extensive plain, where the British lay encamped 
a short time in the year above mentioned. 

We rested at the halfway-house as customary, and 
got a little refreshment ; everything was remarkably 
cheap and plentiful, but money with us was a very 
scarce article, for since leaving Dieppe they had not 
given us a single farthing in money, and not more than 
one pound of bread per man per day. At 4 p.m. we 
reached another town, having marched twenty-seven 
miles; a large number of spectators flocked to see the 
captives of war. We were lodged in a stable, with 
a sentinel at the door, and I had a good night's rest, 
covered over with straw. 

Monday, April 9. — Marched twelve miles to the town 
of Avennes. 

Tuesday, April 10. — Continued our journey to the 
eastward, but we could never learn as yet the regular 
prison that was appointed for us. Some of the high 
roads in this part of the country are paved for miles. 
After journeying twenty-one miles, we reached a village, 
and there being no prison, the Mayor lodged us two 
in a house. I and my cousin stayed with an old 
couple, who entertained us with a good fire but no 
food, and at night a comfortable bed — a privilege I 
never expected to enjoy while a prisoner of war. 

Wednesday, April 11. — Marched eighteen miles, and 
when we reached our destination for the night one of 
our number was missing. He had escaped on the 
road and hid himself; one of the guards mounted and 
went in search of him. We were lodged in various 
houses as on the previous night, but I was not so well 
lodged as before. The people seemed to look upon us 
with contempt and disdain, and although they made 
three meals whilst we were in the house, they never 



32 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

offered us any food. We were allowed the whole 
range of the village, so there was not the least difficulty 
in deserting ; but we were ignorant of the country, 
and the coast was at that time lined with troops 
destined for the invasion of England. Our shoes were 
getting very bad, and I had only one and eightpence 
left out of my seven shillings. 

At this period we began to entertain hopes that we 
should not find our confinement so oppressive as we 
imagined, as they indulged us with more liberty as 
we advanced into the interior. 

Thursday, April 12. — Got under weigh with some 
foot soldiers for our guards ; on the road we met a 
German Jew, who informed us that there was a depot 
of British prisoners of war at a town named Givet, and 
by the route we were taking he supposed that to be 
our destination. At night we remained at a town 
called Rockroy, and were lodged in the jail. 

Friday, April 13. — At 3 p.m. we arrived at Fiume, a 
small town on the left bank of the River Meuse ; it 
lies under a hill, and you cannot perceive the town 
until within a few yards of it and directly over it ; here 
are a number of slate quarries, employing a great many 
people of both sexes. We were lodged in a ruined 
house close to the river, and during our stay we had 
the liberty of the town to go where we thought proper. 

Saturday, April 14. — Assembled together, and com- 
menced our journey through a very mountainous and 
barren country. At 3 p.m. we came to the outer gate 
of the fortification of the town of Givet, where we 
halted until one of our guards rode into the town with 
the express ; we were shortly after conducted to the 
guard-house, and there inspected by the Commandant 
of the depot, who questioned us, and separated each 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 33 

ship's company to themselves. After this examination 
we were conducted to the prison gate and then to the 
prison yard, where we found about 930 British prisoners 
of war. The barrack-master conducted us to the eighth 
passage, in which passage were eight rooms, and in 
each room they put sixteen men, and served to each 
room a large kettle, a dish, ladle, and pitcher for the 
whole mess. We were paid tenpence per man by 
Bradshaw, a big rascal, clerk to the Captain of La 
Minerve frigate ; this was allowed us by English 
Lloyds, and our allowance from the French Govern- 
ment was as follows — viz., one pound of bread, half 
pound of beef, a small quantity of wood, a thimbleful 
of salt, a noggin of peas, and three farthings in money 
per man per day. 

The town of Givet is situated on the left bank of the 
River Meuse, a walled town, with a single rampart. 
On the south side of the river is another town, called 
Little Givet, reached by a bridge of sixteen boats. 
This town, although not so large as Grand Givet, far 
surpasses it in trade. I have been informed that the 
finest tanyards in the Empire are to be found here. 

Both towns are fortified and occupied by a strong- 
garrison, but the ramparts are much out of repair. 
Grand Givet is commanded by a strong fortress called 
Charlemont, in which there are a number of barracks 
and hospitals, and a small town with a church. The 
citadel and rampart wall are very strong. On the south 
side it is fortified by Nature, the cliffs being, I suppose, 
300 yards perpendicular. This town is in the Depart- 
ment of Ardennes, in the French Netherlands. 

Good wheat bread, 3 pounds sold for 2 Ad, flour 
jd. per pound, butter 5c!., and beef 3 -id. per pound ; the 
brown bread as sold to the prisoners is id. per loaf. 

3 



34 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

April 16, 1804. — My uncle, Captain Josias Sincock, 
with his son William, Captain Jenkyns of Clovelly, 
and Captain Carter of Exeter, left Givet for Verdun, 
the depot at which all British officers were confined. 

May iS, 1805. — The troops with the gendarmes 
assembled under arms and marched in and around the 
prison, and a general muster of prisoners was made. 
Some of them had been digging a shaft and an adit in 
one of the unoccupied stables, and the Commandant 
was informed of this by a man named Thomas Ewin, 
a Londoner by birth, formerly armourer on board the 
Sir William Douglas, East Indiaman, but now prisoner 
of war, the treacherous rascal ! 

August 1, 1805. — General Marmont inspected the 
prisoners at a general muster in the prison yard, when 
some petitions were delivered to him, requesting him 
to try to shorten our captivity and to get us some 
clothes. 

December 4, 1805. — The Rev. R. B. Wolfe arrived 
here from Verdun to be our chaplain. He is a native 
of Stone, in Staffordshire, and was chaplain to a 
gentleman's family travelling on the Continent at the 
outbreak of the war in 1803, when he was detained and 
made a prisoner of war, also his wife and child ; but 
they received permission from Napoleon, when he 
passed through Givet, to proceed to England. Mr. 
Wolfe was to return here again, but when he went to 
Paris, however, a grant was given him to remain in 
England. 

December 17, 1805. — James Emsworth, who escaped 
on July 17, was brought back, after being absent five 
months. He had passed into Germany, and when 
captured was on the borders of Prussia. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 35 



The Murder of Mr. Haywood. 

Mr. William Haywood, master's mate of H.M.S. 
Alfred, a native of Lichfield, together with a midship- 
man named Gale, went with a gendarme into the town 
to market, as was customary with the officers. Seizing 
an opportunity, they escaped from their guard, and hid 
themselves in a cave on Mount d'Or, on the fortification 
that commands Little Givet. 

Guards were despatched in all directions in search of 
them, and the cannon on Charlemont gave the alarm 
to the neighbouring villages, but the search proved 
unsuccessful. 

In the afternoon the guards again assembled and 
went direct to the mouth of the cave where they were 
concealed. They were ordered to come forward and 
surrender, which they immediately did, when the first 
gendarme, with his sabre, cut Mr. Haywood to the 
ground, and again plunged the sword into poor Hay- 
wood's body until life was extinct, Mr. Gale being also 
severely wounded ; but they spared his life, and he 
afterwards recovered. 

The information as to their whereabouts was given 
by a marine named Wilson, belonging to H.M. frigate 
La Mhierve, who had lost one of his legs in the 
service, for which he was sure of a pension for life ; 
but he was deprived of all pay from his countrymen, 
and the French made him a warder in the hospital at 
Givet, but during our stay he would never appear in 
the prison without a guard. 

September 6, 181 1. — The first appearance of the comet 
from the prison windows. 



36 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

Construction of the Flying Bridge — A Sight 
of Napoleon. 

November 9, 1811. — Bonaparte and his consort passed 
by the prison on their way to Paris, and a great number 
of the nobility passed before and after them ; the guns 
on the fortress of Charlemont fired a royal salute, and 
the officers and men of the 33rd and 34th Regiments 
were under arms, and stationed on each side of the road 
for a mile out of the town, repeating with shouts of 
acclamation, "Vivel'Empereur!" as he passed them by. 

When these illustrious persons arrived at Petit Givet, 
they put up at the hotel there for the night, and in the 
morning, to their great disappointment, the water in 
the River Meuse had risen considerably, and, the 
current increasing in velocity, had carried adrift the 
bridge of boats which crossed the river. 

The French used every exertion to restore com- 
munication, but without success; and when all their 
contrivances had proved abortive, messengers w r ere 
despatched to the depot, to bring out some of the 
English sailors, and forty-five British prisoners were 
taken from the first passage, being the nearest to the 
prison-gate. The rest of us were locked up, but had 
the liberty of opening the windows, so as to have 
a view of the Emperor when he passed. 

Nothing appeared until 1 p.m., when we were 
presented with a full view of the Emperor and Em- 
press, drawn in a coach by eight horses. The 
Emperor sat on the side fronting the prison, the 
windows of which were crowded with prisoners with 
their heads uncovered, to whom the Emperor made 
several polite bows. He was dressed in a dark green 
coat, light kerseymere breeches, and a very ordinary 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 3 7 

three-cocked black hat, with several stars suspended 
from his breast. Having only a view of him when 
seated in his carriage, I was unable to ascertain his 
stature, but judge him to stand 5 feet 6 or 7 inches. 
He is of rather a swarthy complexion, and corpulent 
withal. The Empress was dressed in white, with 
a white silk or satin bonnet ; but there was nothing 
splendid or uncommon in the appearance of these 
illustrious people. 

When the British sailors had, with great skill and 
dexterity, rigged up a contrivance to convey a barge 
with the Emperor's carriage from shore to shore 
through the rapid torrent, the Emperor and Empress 
stepped into the barge in the presence of some 
hundreds of spectators, and ordered all Frenchmen 
to quit the barge, which was then launched into the 
stream, with no other guards but one or two of the 
Emperor's Field-Marshals and the British prisoners 
of war. 

One of our men, named Welch, when helping to get 
the carriage into the barge, fell, and the wheel, pass- 
ing over his arm, broke it. He was sent at once into 
sick quarters, and every attention was ordered to be 
paid to him, and I believe he received nearly £10 in 
English money. 

Twelve of our men, who were in a barge which 
sank in presence of the Emperor, were some months 
afterwards granted passports to return to their native 
country, and had they not petitioned, it is the general 
opinion that the whole forty-five would have been set 
at liberty. 

A young sailor, named Thompson, who crossed 
in the barge with the Emperor, acted a part incon- 
sistent with reason, but I suppose more to see how 



3 8 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

far the laws of the Masonic Fraternity extended — they 
both belonging to that society, rather than with any 
intention of being offensive. Seeing the Emperor 
taking a pinch of snuff, Thompson entreated him for a 
pinch, and the request was immediately granted. 

The Emperor had been upon a survey of the 
northern ports of France and Holland, and was re- 
called by an express to repair to the capital without 
delay. This w r as about the time of the breaking out of 
the war with Russia. 

The guards with which he left Paris, a body of 
lancers, passed through Givet the next day, the horses 
being so fatigued that they could not keep the Emperor 
company, and so were left a day's journey behind. 



The Irish Informer. 

June 16, 1 812. — Two of our fellow-prisoners named 
Jasper and Griffiths escaped from the prison, and 
shortly after, one Sergeant Dunnon, an Irishman, 
belonging to an English regiment of horse, gave 
information to the Marshal de Loges, which became 
known to the prisoners, and in the evening of the 
same day Dunnon received from them a most severe 
punishment, which nearly cost him his life. As soon 
as this tumult was known in the guard-house, the 
guards assembled under arms, and, entering the yard, 
drove all the prisoners to their respective cells ; some 
were cruelly ill-used. The informer was conducted 
to the hospital, where he remained for ten days, 
and then made his appearance in the prison yard, 
accompanied by a Lieutenant of gendarmes and the 
prison guards. A general muster was ordered, when 
the Lieutenant and the informer walked down each 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 39 

rank, and he pointed out two of the ringleaders. 
Next morning this villain paid us a second visit, and 
pointed out eight more. On the 29th they were tried 
by a military court-martial, and by means of two 
(whose names I shall not forbear to mention) — viz., 
Francis Wills and one Prescott, turning evidence 
against the other ten, seven were condemned to four 
years' solitary confinement — viz., Richard Dunn, of 
St. Ives, Cornwall, one of the crew of the privateer 
Recovery; George Miller, of St. Michael's Mount, 
Cornwall ; George Truern, of Ludgvan, Cornwall ; 
John Hunn, of Milbrook, Cornwall; James Boatfield, 
of Appledore, Devon ; and John Burns and William 
Stewart, of Waterford, Ireland. Richard Dunn, of 
St. Ives, and the two Waterford men died during their 
confinement. 

We were informed by the guards that this informer 
and deceiver of mankind left Givet to enter the French 
service. 

August 13, 181 3. — The Empress made her appear- 
ance at Givet on her way from Mayence to Paris, 
accompanied by her escort and Ladies of Honour. The 
windows of her coach were let down, and she sat on 
the side fronting our prison, as if to have a full view 
of the British prisoners of war. 

Prisoners Leave the Depots. 

December, 1813. All the British prisoners of war at 
the eleven depots in France, to the number of 16,280, 
were put in motion ; those in the south were ordered 
to the north, and those in the north were sent towards 
the south, duly escorted by a strong guard until they 
were a few days march into the interior, when they 



40 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

were left to wander at their own discretion. The 
French Government was well aware that by so 
arranging matters the prisoners would not fall into 
the possession of the invading armies now entering 
France, and their object was to keep the prisoners 
between Paris and the west coast. 

December 22, 181 3. — The joyful tidings at last arrived 
that we were to hold ourselves in readiness to march ; 
our destination was never made known to us, but we 
entertained hopes that our captivity was drawing to 
a close. 

They were daily bringing supplies of all kinds to 
the fortress of Charlemont, a thing that had been 
neglected for many years, and numbers of their sick 
and wounded were daily passing ; also our own sick 
were taken from the hospital, put into carts, and con- 
ducted towards the interior of France without the 
least regard to the rigor of the season, nor was the 
least humanity shown to these unfortunate people. 

I Leave Givet. 

From December 24, 1813, to January 7, 18 14, from 
too to 150 prisoners were daily marched from Givet; 
I left on the last-named date with 150 others. At 
9 a.m. we were delivered to a Lieutenant of the 34th 
Regiment of Foot, with his guard and two horse gen- 
darmes, and conducted fifteen miles to the town of 
Fiume, where we were confined in the jail — 40 in one 
apartment and no in another. 

January 8, 18 14. — Left Fiume with the same guards 
as before. Some women followed us selling brandy 
and small loaves of bread. One of the guards got 
drunk on the march, and took from the women some 
bread ; a complaint was immediately lodged to the 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 41 

Commanding Officer, who gave the guard a severe 
punishment over his back with the flat of his sabre, 
and on our arrival at the gates of Rocroy, the officer 
ordered a gendarme to disarm the man and conduct 
him to the jail. But he bid defiance to them, and 
would not give up his arms, but marched into the 
town with the rest ; the officer proposed to get him 
punished when they went back to the Staff. 



The Worst Jail. 

January 9, 18 14. — Marched eighteen miles to the 
town of Mezieres, and were taken to the military jail ; 
the jailer took away each man's walking-stick as he 
entered the door. We were put into a cell, the walls 
of which were at least 6 feet thick. This is the worst 
jail that ever I put foot into ; they crammed the 150 of 
us into one cell. The only light we had was from a 
small hole about 1 foot long and 6 inches wide, and 
this secured with three iron bars. Those of our party 
who were near the hole, it being very cold, stopped it 
up with straw, so that the candles would not remain 
lighted, and I really thought that we should all be 
suffocated. There was no room to lie down, the walls 
were running with water, and the place had a fearful 
smell ; in this deplorable situation we spent the 
night. 

January 10, 18 14. — We were let into the prison-yard, 
and were there paid by the jailer tenpence each man, 
our pay for three days past and two to come (our 
allowance on the march being twopence-halfpenny and 
a pound and a half of bread each man per day), after 
which we were each served with three pounds of 
bread, our allowance for two days. 



42 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

This day's march proved very disagreeable, the 
roads being covered with snow ; when we left Mezieres 
our guards were placed on each side of the road, and 
the prisoners marched two deep between them. Two 
gentlemen came up riding in a gig, and insisted on 
forcing their way through our ranks, when the Com- 
manding Officer took his sword from its sheath and 
threatened to cut down the horses, upon which the 
men seemed greatly alarmed, and went off in another 
direction. 

On our arrival at Launoir part of our detachment 
were put into the jail and some into a stable : I ob- 
tained permission to get lodging for myself, and 
eagerly embraced the opportunity, it being very cold 
paying fivepence for my bed ; but I suppose the}' 
would not charge an inhabitant more than three- 
halfpence for the same, and they charged me five- 
pence for some milk. If the French can take advant- 
age of a traveller they will do it, you may depend, 
and in my opinion they really do think that all 
Englishmen, in whatever situation, are possessed of 
money. 

January n, 1814. — Assembled and marched with the 
same guards, the roads being entirely covered with 
snow and ice, and the air very keen. At 4.30 p.m. 
arrived at Rethel, and were locked up in a yard or 
square entirely exposed ; we found a quantity of straw, 
but it was so cold we could not sleep, but spent the 
night wishing for daylight. 

January 12, 18 14. — Served three pounds of bread per 
man, snow falling all the day ; sometimes we were 
taken above the knees, which made our march very 
difficult, the guards being as tired as the prisoners. 
Some of our people were ready to drop under the 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 43 

fatigue of the journey, yet I believe the whole of us 
came to anchor in our long-wished-for port, the City of 
Rheims, after marching this terrible day twenty-seven 
miles. 

We were conducted to a jail that had formerly been 
the residence of the Bishop, near the fine cathedral. 
At this city the Kings of France were formerly crowned. 
In the jail we joined 400 other English prisoners of 
war, the last party from Briancon in the Alps, bound 
for a place named Meubeuge. 



I Leave the Party from Givet. 

January 13, 18 14. — In the morning early the party 
for Meubeuge were ordered to get under weigh. Now 
I, believing my own party to be journeying too far 
towards the south, made up my mind to desert and 
to join the party bound for Meubeuge; so I made my 
intention known to an English sergeant of the 23rd 
Regiment of Cavalry, one Theodore Tinsell, of London, 
who carried the prisoners' passport, there being no 
guards with the Briancon party, and the sergeant 
informed me that there would be no danger or diffi- 
culty in my joining their ranks, as many men had been 
left behind in hospital through sickness on the march, 
and no questions would be asked ; so I bid my old 
companions from Givet a final adieu, they still pro- 
ceeding towards the south, and the Briancon party 
towards the north. We knew that the approach of 
the invading armies — Russians, Prussians, and Aus- 
trians — from the east and the British in the south 
would compel the French to keep their prisoners 
moving towards the west coast. 

I received one franc from Colonel Hill, Lloyd's money. 



44 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

The weather was very cold, and the roads bad, and 
after marching fifteen miles we came to a village, 
which was so small that the Mayor found it impossible 
to find us lodging. He advised some of us to proceed 
to another village, three miles farther, but being very 
fatigued, I hired lodgings at fivepence for the night, and 
thought myself very fortunate to get that privilege. A 
great number who could not pay went the farther 
three miles before they could find a resting-place. I 
found myself greatly refreshed by the next morning. 

January 14, 1814. — This day we marched to the town 
of Laon, where we found 400 more British prisoners 
from Briancon bound for Meubeuge. They were 
lodged in an old church, and our part}' joined them ; 
but, owing to my acquaintance with the English ser- 
geant, I obtained a billet, as the French always billeted 
the sergeants. 

January 15, 1814. — We received our allowance from 
the French. I went with the sergeant and viewed the 
church, a fine piece of architecture. I was shown by 
an old man a profile of our Saviour, which he said had 
been brought from Rome 600 years before. 

January 16, 18 14. — Marched twenty-four miles to the 
town of Vervins ; roads covered with ice and snow. 
I was again billeted with the sergeant, but the rest of 
the party were lodged in the church. 

January 17, 18 14. — Journeyed eighteen miles to the 
town of Avennes, hired lodgings at fivepence for the 
night. 

I Meet my Cousin, Thomas Williams. 

January 18, 18 14. — W T e commenced our last march 
for our appointed depot. It blew ver}- hard, with rain, 
all day, and when we arrived at the gates of the town 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 45 

of Meubeuge we were detained for one hour and a half; 
I believe the authorities did not know what to do with 
us. At length we obtained permission to enter, and 
were conducted to the general prison, where we found 
that all the prisoners, except a small number, were 
confined in two subterranean passages under the 
ramparts of the fortification, but for what reason they 
could not tell, nor could the inhabitants inform them, 
but, in my opinion, it was because of the approach of 
the enemy. I was taken to a large door, when I 
inquired if my cousin, Thomas Williams, was among 
the number, and was informed that he was ; but some 
time elapsed before he could get out from the inner 
part of this horrible dungeon or subterranean cave, 
where 1,300 Englishmen were confined. I expected 
this place would have been our abode for the night, 
but in the evening all the prisoners were released, and 
we were confined in the barracks, which some weeks 
before had been occupied by the Spanish prisoners of 
war. I will leave you to conjecture the sad state these 
poor Spaniards were in, having travelled 800 miles 
from their own country. Most of them were soldiers 
taken in different engagements, and their condition 
would call for sympathy from their greatest enemies. 

We remained in this place seven days, every day 
attended with frost and snow. On the evening of 
January 24, 1814, we received orders to prepare for 
marching, and wc heard this news with joy and 
exultation. 

January 25, 1814. — Receiving one franc per man from 
the French, we commenced our long journey for the 
City of Tours, a distance of 350 miles, numbering in all 
1,792 British prisoners of war, the largest party gathered 
together, 1 believe, since the outbreak of hostilities. 



46 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

Many of us were in a most deplorable condition, with- 
out shirts for our backs or shoes for our feet, the 
weather bitterly cold, and the roads covered with ice 
and snow. Notwithstanding this, there was a feeling 
of joy and gladness in all the community at being- 
released from this town where we had suffered so 
many hardships. We were not made acquainted with 
the reason for this sudden departure, but I believe it 
was occasioned by serious news of the near approach 
of the invading armies. 

At noon we arrived at the town of Avennes, this 
being my third visit to this town. Some of the party 
purchased bread, which was being sold in small por- 
tions in the market-place, and others purloined the 
bread ; but although this was witnessed by the guards, 
they did not interfere. We expected to halt here for 
the night, but, to our great discomfiture, we were 
again ordered to march, and at 6 p.m. arrived at Lan- 
drecy, twenty-four miles from Meubeuge, my second 
visit to this place. We were halted at the gates, and 
when 600 had come up, amongst whom were myself 
and six companions who kept together, this detach- 
ment of 600 was conducted through the town, with 
strict orders not to stop, but to march three or four 
miles farther to a village. It was now quite dark and 
snowing. Our new guards tried to encourage us by 
urging our march, sometimes saying, " Courage, mon 
ami." One of our party, being very much fatigued, 
entered a house and threw himself on the floor, the 
inmates being absent, and it was some time before we 
could persuade him to leave and struggle on an hour 
or two longer. We came to another house, and eight 
of us stole off from the guards and implored the farmer 
to give us shelter for the night in one of his out-houses, 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 47 

which he did, and we paid him one halfpenny each 
man. 

January 26, 18 14. — We started at an early hour, and 
after marching six miles, arrived at Cateau, where we 
were detained by the guards until the whole of the 
party came up ; this town has a gate on the north, but 
no ramparts. In the year 1793, when the English forces 
were besieging the City of Cambray, the Duke of York 
had his headquarters at this place ; the house where he 
resided was pointed out to us as we passed by. After 
a journey of twenty-four miles, we reached Cambray, 
where we were joined by 800 more British prisoners 
of war, also on their march towards the City of Tours. 
This party was from the depot at Valenciennes, and 
we now numbered nearly 2,600 men. 

January 27, 18 14. — We were all mustered in the 
Grand Square, and were ordered (the Valenciennes 
party excepted, as they were to remain here for the 
day) to the bread contractor's house to receive our 
allowance, but there was little or no bread baked or 
ready for us, although owing to the number of their 
own troops passing and repassing, the bakeries were 
kept constantly employed. We were kept waiting for 
six hours, the bread being served to us hot from the 
ovens. At 3 p.m. they refused to serve any more, 
saying the quantity had been delivered ; but nearly 
400 of our party could not obtain a mouthful, and in 
this situation the guards ordered us to proceed on our 
march. 

Myself and seven companions secured a three-pound 
loaf between us, and when the party began to march 
we deserted and went and joined the Valenciennes 
party, and lodged with them in the soldiers' barracks 
on plenty of good straw. 



48 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

January 28, 18 14. — The Valenciennes party were 
mustered, and, there being no guards, our little party of 
deserters and some others, about thirty in all, mustered 
with them, although not registered in their number. 

After a tedious journey of twenty-seven miles, we 
arrived at St. Quentin. It was on this march that 
we fell in with my cousin, William Sincock, who, 
with his father, had been sent to Verdun in 1804, 
where Captain Sincock died on March 2, 181 3. My 
cousin joined our party, and gave me a good meal 
of bread and cheese. On the roads between Cambray 
and St. Quentin is an extensive canal, and I was 
informed that the Spanish prisoners of war were 
employed in the excavation, and on one occasion 
the land gave way and buried some hundreds of 
them and a number of French. I did hear that 1,500 
Spaniards lost their lives in this affair. The part of 
the canal that I saw was ten or twelve fathoms below 
the surface. Although manual labour was much 
required throughout the country, they would never 
employ the British prisoners of war, for the obvious 
reason that if they were let out of the prisons to 
labour they would, at the first opportunity, bid their 
employers adieu, so it became a frequent saying with 
us that the British prisoners were " better guarded 
than regarded." 

This night we were lodged in the church with some 
Spanish prisoners. 

January 29, 18 14. — Although the Valenciennes party 
had promised to get our names inserted on their pass- 
port and take us with them, we found, on being 
liberated by the turnkey, that they had already quitted 
the town — so unreliable is the word of man — and 
through their neglect we were liable, having no pass- 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 49 

ports, to be taken up as deserters. So we lost no 
time in calling upon the Mayor, who granted us a 
passport for thirty — our estimated number — to pro- 
ceed to the City of Tours, and also an order on the 
contractor to supply us each with six pounds of bread 
for four days. By this unexpected boon we con- 
sidered ourselves better provided for than had we 
joined the larger party. When we came to the baker's 
we could not muster more than twenty, but he was 
obliged to serve out for thirty, as ordered by the 
Mayor, and we sold the overplus, dividing the few 
pence equally amongst us. We had no guards, but 
the passport contained the names of the various towns 
we were to stop at, and we travelled fifteen miles to 
a town called Ham, where our little party was taken 
possession of by a gendarme, who conducted us to a 
stable, where we had a good supply of straw, and 
liberty to walk in the town. 

January 30, 18 14, — Marched sixteen miles to Noyon, 
and were billeted by the Mayor two or four in a house 
according to the circumstances of the people. I, with 
three others, was lodged at the house of a widow, a 
very friendly and mother-like woman, who on our 
arrival served us with soup and as much bread as we 
could eat. At night we made our beds on the floor, 
which occasioned some uneasiness to the good old 
mother because she could not lodge us better. 

January 31, 18 14. — We rested at our billets. In the 
morning the widow's son came and told his mother 
she was doing wrong to treat us so liberally, and tried 
to dissuade her ; but she would not listen to him, and 
treated us as before. This town, although small, has 
a very handsome church. 

February 1, 18 14. — We were served with breakfast 

4 



50 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

as usual by the dear old lady, and, having nothing with 
which to repay her for all her kindness to us, we gave 
her our blessing and sincere thanks, and bade her a 
final adieu. After a march of eighteen miles, we 
arrived at the town of Compiegne, the weather being 
still very cold and the roads covered with ice. We 
called upon the Mayor, as customary, and he ordered 
us to continue six miles farther to a village named 
St. John aux Bois. On leaving the town, we foolishly 
inquired of a peasant the way to St. John, and he 
replied that we were on the right road. When we 
were within a mile of the village, we presented our 
order from the Mayor of Compiegne to another man 
whom we met, and after carefully examining the docu- 
ment, he told us, to our great disappointment, that we 
were quite wrong : that this village was called St. 
John, whereas our village was St. John aux Bois, and 
we were six miles out of our road. We had already 
travelled twenty-four miles that day, so inquired at all 
the houses in the village if they would let us sleep in 
their stables, but they refused, pointing out a path 
through a wood, by following which we might reach 
our village. We consulted as to whether or not there 
might be danger in travelling through the wood at 
night from the prowling, hungry wolves, but as the 
moon was bright and clear, we decided to take the 
road, and were conducted to the edge of the wood by 
a Frenchman who directed us on our way. 

Our party numbered about twenty in all, including 
a poor woman and her two infant children who had 
joined us. These were conveyed in a small cart, together 
with some of our sick. The men who drove the cart 
knew nothing about the road, and I am certain that 
but for the snow on the ground and the light of the 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 51 

moon we must have taken our lodgings upon the 
ground in this wood, most likely at the cost of our 
lives. After some time we came to a directing-post, 
but could not find the name of our village. About two 
miles farther we came to another post, and by one man 
getting upon the shoulders of another we found there 
was no such name as the one we sought ; but still obey- 
ing the peasant's direction, we kept a straight course 
and when we arrived at the third post we found the name 
of our village marked thereon. We continued shouting 
and making a noise most of the time, so that the cart, 
which was far in the rear with the woman and her 
children and our sick, might follow the sound. This 
poor woman belonged to Ireland, and her husband, 
when a prisoner of war at Valenciennes, entered the 
Irish Brigade of the French army, and left the poor 
creature with her two children destitute, to shift for 
themselves in a foreign country. I suppose the French 
Government must have allowed something for their 
support. About 9.30 we arrived at the village, after 
travelling thirty miles this day, the latter part through 
a wood of 32,000 acres. The Mayor came and took us 
two and two to the peasants' houses, giving verbal 
orders that we were to be lodged and cared for. The 
villagers were astonished that we should journey 
through the wood by night, saying they would not 
undertake it themselves under any circumstances. 

February 2, 18 14. — We proceeded nine miles to a 
place named Crepy, and were then ordered nine miles 
farther to Monteul, where the Mayor provided us with 
billets. My cousin and I were well received, being- 
presented with bread and cheese, soup, a jug of cham- 
pagne wine, and a good bed. The inhabitants at this 
time seemed to have a very generous turn towards us, 



52 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

the women being most anxious to know what sort of 
men the Cossacks were ; the very name appeared to 
occasion them great terror. Now, we knew just as 
much about the Cossacks as they did, but we replied 
according to their behaviour. If they treated us well, 
we said the Cossacks were mild and affable in their 
manners ; but if we were treated unkindly, we said the 
Cossacks were savage and austere, and if they were 
not supplied according to their expectations, they 
would immediately set fire to the houses, upon which 
the women said they should decamp with their children 
to some secluded place of concealment. I have oft- 
times considered that the liberality extended towards 
us was more in fear than in love. 

February 3, 18 14. — In the morning our hostess again 
supplied us with soup, bread, pork, and a jug of wine — 
a very desirable breakfast — and we began our journey 
with a good heart for the town of Meaux, a distance of 
fifteen miles. As soon as we arrived we waited on the 
Mayor, for every town, hamlet, and village in the 
Empire is furnished with a Ma3'or. We were ordered 
into the ruins of an old nunnery for the night, a place 
without doors or windows, and here I found my old 
companions, the party with whom I had left the prison 
of Givet. They were in a terrible plight, sick, dying 
and dead — over one hundred in all. I saw many of my 
old acquaintances and fellow sufferers groaning upon 
their straw beds, in raging fevers ; one lay dead, and 
permission to bury him had been refused ; so I will 
leave you to judge of the dreadful sufferings of these 
poor people. The Mayor ordered us to take up our 
lodgings with them in this terrible place for the night, 
but we beat a retreat, and quitted the town without an 
order, giving ourselves over entirely to chance. At 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 53 

the first village the Mayor would not listen to us, but 
ordered us to quit the place immediately ; at the second 
village the Mayor took compassion on us, and gave us 
an order on his brother Mayor, so he called him, at the 
next village ; and after walking nine miles from the 
town of Meaux, we arrived at Coutevroult, our day's 
journey being twenty-four miles. The Mayor gave us 
billets, two in a house. Our hostess treated us with 
great kindness, giving us supper and a good bed. 

February 4, 1814. — Made sail for a town named 
Chaum, and then were ordered farther to a village, 
name unknown, our day's journey being nineteen 
miles. 

February 5, 1814. — Marched twelve miles to Melun, 
and were then sent back four miles to the village of 
Montreul, which is only about twenty miles from Paris. 

February 6, 1814. — I went to Melun and received 
from Captain Sir Thomas Levi the sum of is. 3d., 
Lloyds' money for each man. I consider Sir Thomas 
Levi, who when captured was commanding H.M. 
frigate Blanch, the most honourable gentleman we 
met on our march. The inhabitants of Melun seemed 
in great concern at the advance of the enemy upon 
their town. At the southern end of the place runs a 
large river, a branch of the Seine, crossed by a stone 
bridge, the centre arch of which had been entirely 
destroyed in order to retard the advance of the enemy. 
The French were busily engaged in placing the City of 
Paris in a state of defence. The farmer with whom we 
lodged was compelled to go into Melun to mount guard, 
a task he was very reluctant to perform, but he could 
not refuse. 

At this time the French Government ceased to give 
us any relief, so we were left utterly to the mercy of 



54 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

the people on whom we received billets, and I must 
confess that our hostess at this village near Melun 
was very kind to us during our stay. 

We were next ordered to proceed to Fontainebleau, 
but owing to the advance of the enemy, this was 
countermanded, and we proceeded to the north of 
that place. 

February 7, 18 14. — Marched fifteen miles to Melly, 
and were sent by the Mayor to another village. This 
was the most difficult and troublesome day we had 
experienced since leaving Givet, owing to the thaw 
which had now set in, with heavy rain, making the 
roads most difficult. We put up for the night at a 
village called Tusson. 

February 8, 1814. — Marched fifteen miles to Pethivers, 
up to our knees in water and mud most of the way. 

February 9, 18 14. — Marched to Neuville, and next day, 

February 10, 18 14, at noon arrived at the City of 
Orleans. We were lodged in a stable, and served 
with some bread and cheese. Having liberty to walk 
in the city, we went to the Grand Square, and saw the 
statue of the heroic Maid of Orleans ; also visited the 
cathedral, which has never been finished, nor, they say, 
will it ever be, as the order of architecture has been 
lost. 

February n, 1814. — We here rejoined the party from 
Valenciennes, and at 3 p.m. were all mustered under 
a guard of soldiers, who had orders to escort us out 
of the city. Our party, then numbering about 800, 
journeyed to a town eighteen miles distant, where we 
lodged in different stables. I, with five others, gave 
twopence each to sleep in a stable with plenty of straw, 
and we had a mule to keep us company. 

February 12, 18 14. — Starting early, we marched 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 55 

twenty-four miles to the town of Blois, a very nice 
place situate on the right bank of the River Loire. 
Here, to our surprise, we found 1,500 British officers, 
prisoners of war, chiefly of the Navy and Army, but 
some merchantmen amongst them. Our party was 
conducted by the gendarmes to various stables, and 
lodged for the night with a strong guard to prevent 
us from going into the town. 

February 13, 18 14. — We were served each man with 
three pounds of bread and is. 3d., Lloyds' money, and 
marched this day thirty miles to a town called Ambroise. 
Our party crossed the river by a bridge from the north 
to the south side ; but my cousin, Thomas Williams, 
and I, hearing the lodgings in the town were in a 
horrid condition, remained on the north side, and ob- 
tained lodgings by paying each fivepence for the night. 

We purchased a small piece of fresh pork, and asked 
the woman of the house to cook it for us, which she 
did, and then went to the cupboard to place the pork 
on a dish, when we saw her purloin a part and hide it 
behind the cupboard door; but we feared to complain 
lest she should inform the gendarmes, who would 
conduct us to the town on the south side of the river. 

February 14, 18 14. — We crossed the river and joined 
our party, and then proceeded on our march eighteen 
miles to the City of Tours, crossing the Loire to the 
north side, and took up our lodgings in a stable cut 
in the side of the cliff. The stone is a soft white 
freestone, and many of the houses are cut out of the 
solid stone, rising three or four stories high to the 
top of the cliff. These houses are exceedingly warm 
and dry. 

February 15, 18 14. — We were taken to the south 
side and put into a stable. On applying to the Com- 



56 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

missary for some more straw, he refused, saying that 
stones were good enough for Englishmen to lie on, an 
expression he probably would not use had we been on 
neutral ground ; but we had to put up with it. Next 
day some hundreds of Spanish prisoners joined us, 
and they said the Commissary had told them to take 
away our straw ; but the Spaniards knew better than 
to attempt the like. 

We had liberty to walk in the town, and in the 
market-place provisions of all kinds were selling cheap. 

February 16, 1814. — We received orders to prepare 
to march to a town called Riom, 260 miles from Tours, 
in the interior of the country. Our men were getting 
sick daily, and this evening a cart came and took ten 
or twelve of them to the hospital. 

February 17, 1814. — Served each man with is. 3d. in 
money and three pounds of bread by the Captain of an 
East Indiaman, agent for Lloyds, and then our party, 
numbering about 800, commenced our march over ice- 
bound roads. I had not travelled far before I was 
taken with a cold shivering and violent headache. I 
tried to get a glass of brandy, but could not. I drank 
about a pint of wine at threepence-halfpenny per quart, 
and after a journey of fifteen miles, arrived at a place 
called Cormery, where we were put into the town jail, 
but had liberty to walk in the town and to get other 
lodgings if we thought proper. As I found myself 
getting worse, I, with five others, hired lodgings at 
threepence each man, and after I had laid down on some 
straw, one of my comrades brought me a pint of warm 
milk, which threw me into a sweat. 

February 18, 18 14. — Finding myself getting worse 
and the fever increasing, I was compelled, for the first 
time, to put my little bag of clothes into the cart, not 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 57 

being able to carry it any longer ; and finding that I 
could not keep up with the party, I urged my cousin, 
Thomas Williams, to continue his march, and on 
arriving at the town to endeavour to procure a billet 
for us two. In this condition I travelled fifteen miles 
to the town of Loches. My cousin had found a billet 
for us both. I had eaten nothing all day, and could 
only take a glass of brandy, and on reaching my 
lodgings I went to bed immediately, still getting 
worse. 

February 19, 1814. — In the morning I was no better, 
scarcely able to walk, so I got permission, with three 
others in the same condition, to ride in the cart. There 
was a continual fall of snow during the whole day, and 
after going twelve miles, we arrived at Chatillon, and 
were well lodged. During the night I had violent pains 
in my head, and was occasionally deranged. 

February 20, 18 14. — Finding I could not muster 
courage enough to proceed, the man of the house, with 
my cousin, went to the Mayor and obtained permission 
for me and two others to go into the hospital. You 
may depend upon it that my cousin and I were greatly 
distressed at having to part ; but I was getting worse, 
and the prison fever was increasing. During my stay 
here until March 11 I had no communication with my 
fellow sufferers, they being confined to their beds. I 
must give the good, motherly old nun and her young 
attendant every praise for the kind and generous 
treatment which I received at their hands during the 
whole time I was an inmate of this hospital. 

March 11, 18 14. — I informed the doctor that I had 
a desire to leave, but he, being a very liberal and kind- 
hearted gentleman, entreated me not to leave, saying I 
might have liberty to walk about the town ; but having 



58 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

persuaded a man named John Bell, a native of Hull, to 
join me in the undertaking, the doctor at length com- 
plied with our request, and obtained a passport for us 
to proceed to Riom, 218 miles from Chatillon, where 
we then were. We left the hospital at 9 a.m., and 
proceeded twelve miles to a small town, and after 
waiting on the Mayor, were lodged with a rather 
niggardly old fellow, a maker of wooden shoes, who 
gave us a few potatoes to eat, and nothing else. There 
was an insane woman in the room, a sister to the 
occupier, and she kept constantly repeating the name 
of her lover, who had been taken for a soldier. 

March 12, 18 14. — Continued our journey, the roads 
covered with snow, which fell during the whole of the 
day; our feet were sore and out of order; but in spite 
of our tedious voyage, we were rapidly recovering 
from our recent illness. We arrived at Chateauroux, 
where we received 3s. 2d., our marching money 
(a halfpenny per mile, and the French soldiers coming 
from hospital get no more), to take us to the next 
commissary town three days further on. 

March 14, 18 14. — We were very much refreshed, 
stronger in body, and our feet getting better, and were 
much elated at being able to proceed to Riom, where 
our comrades were confined. We journeyed this day 
twenty miles to the town of Argenton, and received a 
billet from the Mayor, but could obtain no admittance 
to the house, so returned to the Mayor, who gave us 
another billet at the house of a blacksmith. He began 
to curse and swear, and went himself to the Mayor, 
and got it changed, this time at the house of an old 
woman, who treated us kindly. 

March 15, 1814. — Proceeded twenty-one miles for the 
town of Argurane. This was our most difficult march 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 59 

for the winter ; the roads were covered with the snow, 
freezing hard, with a fog so thick that we could 
scarcely see the path over the commons, and repeatedly 
lost our way ; the mist froze as it fell, and we were as 
white as millers with the icicles hanging to our side- 
locks. On reaching the town we went to an inn to 
get a glass of brandy, when the hostess kindly invited 
us to sit by the fire. She seemed much alarmed at 
seeing the frost in our hair, and we really looked more 
like wild men from the neighbouring forest than 
prisoners of war. I had to hold my head close to the 
fire to melt the ice from my hair. We afterwards 
went in search of the Mayor's residence, and were told 
that we should find him at the inn we had just quitted ; 
so we went back, and the hostess brought the Mayor 
from the billiard-table, and he gave us a good billet for 
the night. 

March 16, 18 14. — This day's march to Gueret was 
made with great difficulty, owing to the severe 
weather. The Commissary gave us an order on the 
Military Paymaster for 4s. iojd., our mileage money, to 
take us to Riom. At this place we again met the 
British officers' prisoners of war, to the number of 
1,500. After we obtained lodgings, we waited on one 
Captain Ellis, a clerk for the Committee of Lloyds, 
who, after a very strict examination, gave us is. 3d. 
each. He wanted to make it appear that we had been 
to Gueret before, and had already received our money, 
and I do believe that had it not been for my townsman, 
Captain Henry Stevens, of St. Ives, also a prisoner of 
war captured with his ship and crew, who went to Ellis 
to testify on our behalf, that we should not have had 
the money at all. 

March 17, 1 8 14. — We might have halted for the day, 



60 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

but as it was a fine da}- and the woman of the house 
seemed in no way attached to our company, we 
travelled eighteen miles to a village, received billets, 
but very ordinary lodgings. 

March iS, 1814. — This day we journeyed twelve 
miles to Aubusson, and after receiving our billet, could 
gain no admission into the house appointed, so we 
were obliged to call on His Worship again, and received 
an order this time on the house of a baker, where 
we left our few things and went into the town to 
purchase some provisions. When we returned we 
found the door locked, and no entry could be obtained. 
We had, therefore, to remain in the street, and after a 
time a young man took us again to the Mayor, who 
sent an order to the baker for the return of our billet 
and our clothes, saying he should be suitably dealt 
with at some future time for disregarding his orders. 
Our young friend then took us to his house, where his 
wife, a young woman having a very genteel appear- 
ance, soon divested herself of the silks in which she 
was dressed, and taking possession of our small piece 
of beef, cooked it for us with her own hands, and 
at night gave us an excellent bed, the best I have rested 
upon during my captivity. 

March 19, 18 14. — At 6 a.m. we took leave of our kind 
friends, who cheered us by saying the war would soon 
be over, and we should be sent to our own country. 
From what they told us we gathered that France 
would ere long be finally subdued and conquered by 
the invading armies, who were now advanced to 
within a short distance of Paris. We rested this 
night at a small village ; the people seemed very poor, 
their chief food being rye bread, hard and sour. We 
found the Mayor busil}- employed thatching the roof 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 61 

of a house ; he descended the ladder and gave us our 
billets. 

March 20, 18 14. — Continued our journey ; country 
very barren and mountainous, and the people poor. 
Rested at a small town. 

March 21, 18 14. — On leaving our resting-place, we 
were informed by the people that after travelling for 
about two miles we should come to a path on our left, 
which would lead us over the mountains to Riom ; 
but, unfortunately, we passed this short cut before we 
became aware of our mistake, and when we inquired 
of a peasant girl we had advanced too far by half a 
league. We knew that by going to the City of Cler- 
mont we should make a circuitous route of about 
nineteen miles, but we continued on the main road, 
and arrived at the city, which has a noble appearance. 
Standing over the city is a high mountain, in the 
shape of a sugar-loaf, covered with snow, called Puy 
de Dome. We did not go into the city, but continued 
our journey through the suburbs, and on the road met 
a gentleman on horseback named Ellis, who accosted 
us, saying, " I perceive you are Englishmen." We 
said, " Yes," and that we were bound for Riom. He 
told us there was no room for us, the depot being 
quite full ; but as we had orders to go there, perhaps 
we had better proceed, and ascertain the result for 
ourselves. We thanked him for his advice and con- 
tinued towards our destination, and on our arrival 
reported to the Commandant, who confirmed what 
Mr. Ellis had said. 

Here I found my cousin, Thomas Williams, and 
Henry Blight, of Ludgvan, who appeared before the 
Commandant, and entreated him to allow us to remain 
at Riom, saying they would make room for us in their 



62 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

apartment. This request was at length granted, or we 
should have been compelled to proceed to Limoges, 
a newly formed depot, 130 miles from Riom. 

This town and the City of Clermont, which is the 
capital of the Department of the Puy de Dome, in the 
province of Auvergne, are very beautifully situated in 
a fruitful plain of twenty miles, I should say, in circum- 
ference, enclosed by a chain of mountains in circular 
form ; the plain and the sides of the hills are covered 
with corn of all descriptions and fruitful vineyards 
with fruit-trees of all kinds. 

Bread is i^d. per pound; beef, 2d. to 2-|-d. ; frogs, 
i|d. per hundred ; and apples, ten for a |d. 

The building that we now occupied, and in which 
were confined 1,000 British prisoners, was formerly 
a monastery, and some little distance away, at the 
village of St. Mary, was an old nunnery, in which 
400 more British prisoners were confined. The in- 
habitants were compelled to find the prisoners straw 
for a bed, and a blanket or horse-cloth for a cover, and 
we had to attend our muster three times a day, but 
with liberty to walk in the town until evening. We 
found the people civil and generous towards us, and 
they seemed to commiserate our condition, the more 
especially when they became aware of the long time 
we had been in captivity. Our rations were superior 
to anything we had received at Givet. 

Now, after I had been at Riom about three weeks 
— it was on Sunday, April 10, 1814, at half-past ten at 
night — we were aroused from our slumbers by a noise 
and bustle in the street, and on going to the windows 
were informed by some of our own people, who 
lodged in the town, that a courier had passed through 
bearing the news to Lord Wellington, who had 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 63 

crossed the Pyrenees, and with the English army 
had entered France, that Napoleon had abdicated the 
throne of France. Immediately we burst open the 
prison-doors and entered the town, where we found 
the inhabitants assembled, with music and dancing 
and illumination, the greatest joy being manifested by 
all classes ; and as we mixed with the people we were 
often saluted and congratulated, now that peace was 
proclaimed, on our approaching return to our own 
country. About midnight the National Guards re- 
quested us to return to our abode, which at length we 
consented to do so. 

Monday, April n, 1814. — To our great disappoint- 
ment, we once more received marching orders, and 
were told to hold ourselves in readiness to leave on 
the following morning for a place called St. Fleur, 
fifteen days' journey farther into the interior, and 
this removal was occasioned by the approach of the 
Austrian army, then only a short distance from us. 

Tuesday, April 12, 18 14. — We mustered according to 
orders, but the guards not arriving, eight of us deter- 
mined to desert, and to endeavour to reach Clermont, 
having heard that the Austrian army had entered that 
place. We took a path over the mountains, and after 
a march of fifteen miles came near to the city, and took 
up our resting-place for a few hours in a pit on the top 
of the mountain, where we were joined by four other 
prisoners of war, making our number twelve ; we had 
only three pounds of bread amongst us, but had fared 
worse than this, so did not repine at our lot. Towards 
evening a French dragoon on his way to a neighbour- 
ing village passed near our hiding-place. We were 
aware that it was impossible for him to take the whole 
of us, so we began to parley with him, and found him 



64 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

to be more of a friend than a foe. We asked him if it 
was true that the Austrians had entered Clermont, 
and he said, "No" ; but pointing to a village situated 
on the right bank of the River Loire, said : " The 
Austrian army is near that village," that an armistice 
had been agreed to, so that hostilities had ceased for 
the time. We then asked him if it was possible for us 
to swim the river, but he advised us by no means to 
make the attempt, as the river was broad and rapid, 
and if we failed and were discovered by the French 
pickets, who occupied the left bank of the river, we 
should in all probability be shot as spies. He said : 
" I would advise you either to make for Lord 
Wellington's army, which is rapidly advancing from 
Toulouse, or you might remain where you are, for 
I am assured that in less than a month you will be 
sent to your own country." 

He further told us that he was a German serving in 
the German Legion in the service of France, and as 
the French intended marching south to check the 
advance of the British under Lord Wellington, it was 
his fixed intention on the first opportunity to quit the 
service of France and to join the English. 

About 8 p.m. we began to move forward in search 
of some hamlet or village, and we saw clearly in the 
distance the lights of the Austrian camp ; but we decided 
not to make the attempt to join them, which we might 
do at the cost of our lives. 

We travelled until we came to within two miles of 
the town of Pougibeau, sixteen miles from the moun- 
tain, making our day's journey thirty-one miles, and 
being very tired, we went to a farmer's house and 
entreated him to let us rest in his stable or hayloft, 
but without success; so we went to a second house, the 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 65 

door of which was locked, and the woman demanded 
who was there. We told her and begged her to 
let us shelter under her roof. She granted our 
request, provided we would pay one halfpenny- 
each, which we did, and slept in the hayloft on bare 
boards. 

Wednesday, April 13, 18 14. — We got under weigh 
with empty stomachs, eleven in number, for during 
the night one man had absconded, why, or when, or 
where, we could not make out. 

We called on the Mayor of Pougibeau and made 
application for a passport to proceed to Gueret, and 
after a deal of trouble he granted our request. We 
informed him that we were compelled to leave Riom 
by the approach of the Austrian army, and as Pougi- 
beau was already filled by 1,800 Russian prisoners, 
the Mayor was glad to believe our fabricated story, 
and ordered us to make the best of our way to Gueret. 
We asked for some bread, but to no purpose. When 
coming out of the town we passed the 1,800 Russian 
prisoners who had been sent away from Clermont the 
day before. 

We travelled eighteen miles to the village of St. Avet, 
my cousin and I receiving billets at a farmer's house, 
and were lodged pretty well. 

Thursday, April, 14, 18 14. — We were ordered by the 
Mayor of St. Avet to proceed to Aubusson, which town 
we gained early in the day, and there we made a true 
and grievous complaint to the Mayor, that we had 
been four days from Riom, and had not received one 
pound of bread or any pay from the Government. Our 
lamentations had such an effect upon him that he gave 
each man an order for three pounds of bread to serve 
us to Gueret. This we considered a great boon. The 



66 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

Mayor also gave us billets, and I and my cousin were 
well lodged. 

Friday, April, 15, 1814. — Marched eighteen miles, and 
got lodgings in a village for the night. 

Saturday, April, 16, 18 14. — We met at this village an 
English gentleman (whether a prisoner of war or not 
we could not ascertain), who took us to his habitation 
and gave us a piece of boiled beef, and when we came 
to a stream we sat in the grass and made a hearty 
breakfast, this being the first beef we had tasted since 
leaving Riom. On arriving at Gueret we found a 
detachment of 1,500 British officers, prisoners of war, 
on their way to Bordeaux to be exchanged. We 
received a billet from the Mayor for the eleven of us to 
proceed about a mile into the country to a farmer's 
house, where we were well lodged in the barn, and 
remained four days. A party of 800 prisoners arriving 
at Gueret on their way to Bordeaux to be exchanged, 
we were joined by the Commissary to that party, 
and received from the Rev. Mr. Gordon 6s. 8d. 
each man, subscription money from England, and our 
bread from the French. The money was calculated at 
sixpence per day, to last us about thirteen days on our 
march to Bordeaux, the distance being 300 miles. So 
onward we went with hearts elated, nothing of impor- 
tance happening, and on April 22 we arrived at the 
City of Limoges, a very fine place. My cousin and I 
got billets at a baker's, and were very well lodged. The 
hostess gave us a glass of wine and as much bread as 
we could eat. On entering the city we saw the white 
Bourbon flag flying from all the churches. By this 
emblem we were made aware without doubt that the 
long war was over at last. 

Saturday, April, 21, 18 14. — We assembled in the 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 67 

Grand Square to receive our bread, but could obtain 
no pay, and were told that no one in the city would 
advance any money even to assist their own wounded 
soldiers then on the march to their homes. 

When we found this state of things, eight of us 
agreed to quit the large party and to make the best of 
our way by forced marches, walking two stages in one 
day in an endeavour to reach Bordeaux. So, without 
waiting for our bread, we started for the town of 
Chalus, where we arrived at midday, and purchasing- 
some bread and wine at fourpence per bottle, made a 
hearty meal. By leaving the large party we had for- 
feited our allowance of rations, but we calculated that 
the 6s. 8d. each man received from Mr. Gordon would, 
with economy and frugality, serve us to our destina- 
tion. Full of this determination we again set forward, 
and at night, greatly fatigued, we arrived at a place 
called Tivers, having journeyed this day forty-five 
miles. 

Sunday, April 24, 18 14. — In the morning our little 
troop assembled, each countenance beaming with joy 
at the thought of our emancipation being so near at 
hand. We walked twenty-four miles to Perigueux, 
but made no stay in the city beyond getting our 
dinner; we paid 2s. id. for a cooked leg of pork and 
four bottles of wine, and made an excellent meal. 
Continuing our journey, we arrived at 5 p.m. at St. 
John d'Eau, having marched this day thirty-nine miles ; 
obtained billets, and my cousin and I had some bread 
and soup given to us at our lodgings. 

Monday, April 25, 1814. — Resumed our journey in 
good health, and at each mile we remarked that we 
were one mile nearer our much-longed-for destina- 
tion. We put up this night at a village called A le 



68 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

Rue, having completed thirty miles. In the last three 
days we had travelled 1 14 miles with very bad shoes, 
so you may judge whether we had allowed the grass 
to grow under our feet. 

Tuesday, April 26, 18 14. — Marched to a town named 
Libourne, where we were taken by the French Guard 
and conducted to the Commissary, who ordered us 
into the barracks and served our day's rations. Here 
we were detained for the night, to our great disappoint- 
ment, as we had intended reaching Bordeaux this day. 
The Commissary informed us that on the morrow he 
would give us a passport, but if we attempted to go 
without one we should be taken by the French pickets 
and brought back to the town again. 

Wednesday, April 27, 1814. — In the morning early 
we assembled according to orders, and the Commissary 
gave us the passport, for which we thanked him, and 
proceeded on our journey. About every three miles 
we were stopped and examined by the French pickets, 
but always allowed to proceed. At length we reached 
the River Dordogne, and crossed by a ferry ; we had 
not gone more than two miles when, to our great J03' 
and satisfaction, we met with and were saluted by two 
British Lancer officers, who were making their way to 
Libourne on some important business. They heartily 
congratulated us upon being freed from the bonds of 
captivity. After going a little distance farther, we 
met about thirty foot soldiers of the British army, the 
sight of whom elated our hearts, the more especially 
when we left them in our rear. We were free at 
last. 

After a journey of twenty-four miles, we arrived at 
the right bank of the beautiful River Garonne, opposite 
the City of Bordeaux. Crossing the river, we entered 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 69 

the city, which we found to be in the possession of the 
British, a large number of naval and military officers 
and soldiers perambulating the streets. This occa- 
sioned us great surprise, as we had never heard that 
the British army from the Peninsula had taken full 
possession of the city. So at length we were arrived 
at our long-wished-for destination, having left the 
depot at Givet on January 7, 1814, and arrived at 
Bordeaux on April 27, 18 14, making no days in all, 
of which we were detained 56 days, thus being 54 days 
on the march. Our total journeyings through France, 
from the time of our landing at Dieppe in March, 
1804, to our arrival at Bordeaux in April, 1814, being 
1,276 miles; but this does not include the journeyings 
of my cousin Thomas Williams in his attempts to 
escape, or his march to and from Briancon in the 
Alps. We called on the Mayor of Bordeaux, who 
gave us billets, two in a house. After finding our 
lodgings, and each man still having is. 6d. left in 
money, we went to an inn and ordered a supper of 
cold turkey and half a bottle of wine each man, passing 
the evening with hearts elated, our days of captivity, 
hardship, and adversity being over, and, although still 
in the enemy's country, we felt the joy of being pro- 
tected by British troops. 

We at length separated to go to our lodgings, and 
the two old ladies at whose house my cousin Thomas 
Williams and myself were staying served us with 
bread, cheese, salad and wine ; but we had already 
partaken of supper to our satisfaction. However, to 
oblige the old ladies, we made shift to partake of their 
bounty, and were afterwards provided with a good 
bed and obtained an excellent night's rest. 

Thursday, April 28, 18 14. — We waited on the British 



70 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

Commissary and received orders for our rations for 
the day, and soon afterwards embarked, about forty 
seamen in all, on board a small sailing barge, and 
quitted the beautiful City of Bordeaux, which, in my 
opinion, far exceeds any town or city we had seen 
during our march through France. At night we came 
to an anchor eighteen miles down the river, and slept 
on the deck. 

Friday, April 29, 18 14. — Got under weigh early, and 
soon came amongst the British transports lying at 
anchor off Paulliac, and were ordered by the agent 
on board the Dartmouth. 

Saturday, April 30, 18 14. — The Captain of the trans- 
port put us on short allowance, termed soldiers' allow- 
ance — viz., six men on food for four; but we complained 
to the Captain of Le Belle Pottle frigate, who acquainted 
Admiral Penrose, and we were at once put on full 
allowance, the same as the King's seamen. 

Sunday, May 1, 18 14. — We were drafted on board 
the Lord Wellington transport, about 350 released 
prisoners in all. 

Monday, May 2, 18 14. — Got under weigh and pro- 
ceeded down the river, and soon after came to an 
anchor at the river's mouth. 

Tuesday, May 3, 18 14. — Drafted on board the Suffolk 
transport, the same vessel that stranded on Hayle Bar 
in St. Ives' Bay in the year 1802, when on her voyage 
from Bengal bound for London, laden with silk and 
rice. She was bought by the Messrs. Fox of Falmouth, 
taken round to that port and repaired, and afterwards 
entered the transport service. 

Wednesday, May 4, 1814. — Weighed anchor and put 
to sea, seven sail of transports, with 1,500 released 
British prisoners of war, under convoy of the Martial 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 71 

gun-brig, the reason for our being placed under convoy- 
was on account of the war between the United States 
of America and Great Britain, and it was known that 
privateers of that nation were cruising in the Bay of 
Biscay and off the English coasts. We proceeded on 
our voyage with a fair wind, and at 2.30 p.m. on 
Monday, May 9, 18 14, we sighted the land, making 
out St. Michael's Mount in Mount's Bay. Wind, 
S.E. E. ; a fresh breeze. We just fetched Mouse- 
hole Island, and hailed one of the mackerel boats to 
come alongside and take on shore some military and 
naval officers. By the rolling of the vessel the boat 
was caught under the main channels, and received 
damage to her upper streaks and sprung her mizzen- 
mast, seeing which the officers became alarmed, and 
refused to go into the boat ; but I and three others, 
being eager to get on shore, dropped into the boat, and, 
pushing off from the ship, made sail immediately for 
Mousehole, where we landed on the quay but a few 
miles from my native town. The first man we met 
was Captain Thomas Bowden of the Ceres, then lying 
in Mousehole Harbour, and he took Henry Blight of 
Ludgvan and myself on board his ship, made three 
stiff glasses of rum, and offered the best the ship could 
produce, also any money I might require, but I did 
not accept any. When we landed we were immediately 
forced into a pablic-house, but did not stay long. 
From thence, with Henry Blight, I proceeded to 
Newlyn, and met with a very cordial reception from 
some of the principal inhabitants, who conducted us 
to a public-house and insisted on our having re- 
freshments ; one old gentleman wanted us to stay 
the night with him, and forced us to take a shilling 
each. 



72 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

The people at first could not tell what to make of 
us, Henry Blight having on a red jacket with a white 
collar, and a small bag on his back; I had on white 
cloth trousers, a red shirt, and a soldier's knapsack on 
my back, each wore a white-painted straw hat, and 
must have made a strange appearance. 

The inhabitants began to inquire about absent 
friends who had been confined with us. Some of 
these we had left on board the transport, so we were 
able to bring consolation to many inquirers. We again 
proceeded on our journey for Penzance, where we 
were compelled to go to the hotel to give an account 
of our exit from France, and more particularly some 
information about several of their fellow townsmen 
who were imprisoned with us at Givet. We were 
offered the best the house could provide, but after 
partaking of a glass of grog, we thanked them, and 
once more proceeded on our journey for Ludgvan, my 
partner and companion, Henry Blight, being a native 
of that place. We arrived at his house about nine 
o'clock, and after supper retired to rest. 

In the morning early I aroused my old associate to 
get up and conduct me to the right road. He was 
very reluctant for me to leave him, but at length com- 
plied with my request, and accompanied me for a short 
distance towards Nancledra, and then we bade each 
other farewell. I continued my lonely road towards 
St. Ives, where I arrived in due course, having been 
absent from my native town for ten years, four months, 
and five days. 

Only six hours before my arrival my aunt Mrs. Sin- 
cock, the wife of my old Commander, Josias Sincock, 
of the brig Friendship, had paid the debt of Nature, her 
husband having died at Verdun on March 2, 18 13. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 



73 



Mr. Short preserved a complete list of the prisoners, 
over 300 men, who died at Givet from 1804 to 18 14, 
and the following are the names of the fifteen Cornish 
sailors who died there : 



Ship. Residence. Died. 

H.M.S. Hussar Penryn 1804 

Privateer Recovery of Perran 1804 

St. Ives 
Privateer Recovery of St. Just 1804 

St. Ives 
Privateer Recovery of Perran 1S04 

St. Ives 
Brig Bassett of Penzance Penzance 1 804 
Schooner Mary of Pad- Padstow 1804 

stow 
Brig Nelson Falmouth 

Brig Bassett of Penzance Penzance 
Privateer Recovery of St. Ives 

St. Ives 
H.M.S. Hussar Cornwall 

Privateer Recovery of Portreath 

St. Ives 
Privateer Recovery of St. Ives 181 1 

St. Ives 
Brig Friendship St. Ives 181 1 

Privateer Recovery of Perran 181 2 

St. Ives 



Name. 


Rank. 


Joseph Andrews 
Robert Osborn 


Seaman 
Seaman 


Thomas Davis 


Boy 


Robert Heam 


Seaman 


Joseph Phillips 
Edward Kendal 


Mate 
Seaman 


Richard Cornelius 
Thomas Sampson 
Ephraim Major 


Carpenter 

Apprentice 

Seaman 


Henry Pengelly 
Joseph Williams 


Seaman 
Prize Master 


William Burgoyne 


Seaman 


Thomas Cogar 
William Simons 


Seaman 
Landsman 



1805 



IQ09 

1810 



Richard Dunn, of St. Ives, one of the crew of the 
privateer Recovery, condemned with others to four 
years' solitary confinement for an assault upon the 
Irish informer, Sergeant Dunnon, died in prison. 

Captain Josias Sincock, master of the brig Friendship, 
died at Verdun on March 2, 18 13. 



THE ADVENTURES OF 
THOMAS WILLIAMS 

OF ST. IVES, CORNWALL 

PRISONER OF WAR IN FRANCE FROM MARCH, 1804, TO 

MAY, 1814 

I was taken prisoner of war by the French on the 
28th day of March, 1804, on board the brig Friendship, 
of London, Josias Sincock master, coming from London 
laden with copper and flour for Devonport dockyard. 
We weighed anchor in the Downs, and proceeded 
down Channel with a fair wind, under convoy of the 
Spider gun-brig. We had been detained rather too 
long in the Downs to take on board a new long-boat, 
and our ship not being a very fast sailer, we were 
much astern of the fleet when night came on. 

About six o'clock in the evening I was on the fore- 
castle looking out, when we espied a lugger coming 
towards the shore upon a wind ; she went into land 
ahead of us, close under the stern of an East Indiaman, 
who was then reefing topsails before night. We lost 
sight of the lugger for some time, but at length we 
espied her coming up close astern of us, when we hailed 
her, but got no reply. Presently she sheared up under 
our quarter and hove a grapnel on board, followed by 
a great number of her crew, who came well armed, and 
took possession of our ship, driving all the crew below 

74 




MR. THOMAS WILLIAMS. 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 75 

in different parts, and keeping sentry over the hatch- 
ways. I was ordered again on deck to show them 
where the leading ropes were. Then they altered our 
course for the coast of France, the lugger keeping us 
company during the night. 

In the morning early we were close into Dieppe 
Harbour, not having seen an English cruiser the whole 
time. When the tide suited we went into the harbour, 
and the same night were put on shore into a round 
tower, and there they kept us for three days. Before 
we landed they took away all our clothes, excepting 
what we had on, and they had the audacity to 
come to see us in the prison with some of our men's 
clothes on them, saying to us, " Our turn to-day, yours 
to-morrow." 

We began our march towards Givet and Charlemont, 
in the province of Ardennes, on the first day of April, 
1804. I believe we were a fortnight in getting to our 
journey's end, being lodged in filthy prisons at night, 
and marched with a guard by day, travelling nearly 300 
miles on a pound of brown bread and twopence-half- 
penny per day — when we could get it. 

When we arrived at Givet prison we found several 
other ships' companies there before us — viz., the crew 
of H.M.S. Le Minerve, which vessel was lost at 
Cherbourg ; some of the crew of the Harwich Packet, 
who were detained in the country at the breaking out 
of the war; the crew of H.M.S. Hussar, who were 
wrecked on the Saints Rock, near Brest, with several 
others belonging to merchantmen, and also the crew 
of the privateer Recovery, of St. Ives, Henry Johns 
master. 

The prison in which we were confined was a very 
large horse-barracks, divided into corridors or passages. 



76 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

Each corridor contained eight rooms, with accommoda- 
tion in each room for sixteen persons. At night the 
doors were locked until the next morning, when we 
had liberty to go into a long, narrow yard close to the 
River Meuse. This yard, when we were mustered, 
which we always did three times a day, would scarcely 
contain us. 

Our provisions from the French were very mean 
indeed. We had one pound of brown bread, half a pound 
of beef (said to be beef, but which consisted of heads, 
liver, lights, and other offal of the bullock, and that not 
very fat), a little salt, and about a noggin of peas or cala- 
vances, which were served to us every four days, and 
three farthings in money paid once a week ; but they 
would deduct a certain portion from each person for 
the repairs of the prison, etc. We were so reduced that 
we could scarcely fetch our own food from the town, 
which we were compelled to do every fourth day. 
The truth of this can be known by referring to a book 
published by the Rev. Robert Barber Wolfe, the 
chaplain of the depot, who came from Verdun some 
time after the depot at Givet was established. 

You can easily picture to yourself the state of society 
in such a place without any restraint. Captain Jahleel 
Brenton, of the H.M.S. Le Mi7ie>-ve, laid down certain 
rules for the Commandant of the depot to observe with 
respect to the prisoners before he left our depot for 
Verdun as to spirits, beer, etc., which was strictly 
adhered to, as far as could be done in a direct way; 
but the old men-of-war's men found out many in- 
ventions. Smuggling was carried on in every possible 
way, and you can easily guess what followed. How- 
ever, in the midst of much confusion, I did all I could 
to improve my learning ; but not having many books, 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 77 

and for want of means to buy paper, pens, and ink, my 
progress was not very rapid, but I did with much 
pains and self-denial get on pretty well in arithmetic. 
I then began to learn navigation ; having but one 
old Hamilton Moore's "Treatise " amongst us, I was 
obliged to copy out all the tables in that book before I 
could proceed with my learning. I then began in good 
earnest, and very often when I was in a corner with 
my books the greater part of my room-mates have 
been drunk and fighting all around me, but they 
never attempted to molest me. By close attention I 
made myself master of that science, and afterwards 
became a teacher to many others, by that means 
making myself more perfect, and for which I received 
many a sol to help out my own necessities. 

Some three or four years after we arrived at Givet 
we were allowed from the English one penny per day 
— it was said to be from Lloyds — and by that addition 
to our French allowance (although very small) we may 
safely attribute the saving of us all from starvation. 

At the time of Mr. Wolfe's coming to Givet — 
December 4, 1805 — religion was at a very low ebb; 
almost everyone lived as they listed, not having many 
good books nor any place of worship. There were a 
few well-disposed persons amongst us who endeavoured 
to do all they could to stop the tide of sin, but to very 
little purpose. Soon after his arrival Mr. Wolfe got 
permission from the Commandant to use a part of a 
granary over the prison for a place of worship. Here 
we had service twice on Sundays and two or three 
times during the week, and a very good effect it had 
on the depot generally ; very many found pardon, and 
lived consistently to their profession during the time 
I was with them. 



78 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

Now, after being confined in Givet Prison for about 
seven years, and finding no hope of an exchange of 
prisoners, and having completed my schooling so far 
as I could learn there, I made up my mind, with two 
others — viz., Henry Blight, of Ludgvan, near St. Ives, 
one of the crew of the privateer Recovery, and Robert 
Burns, of Beverley, Yorkshire — to get away if possible, 
and run all risk of life and limb in the attempt, for 
they would not scruple to fire upon you on the least 
alarm being given. Several prisoners made the attempt 
to escape, but were taken in the act, and were cut and 
beaten most severely. Two midshipmen started from 
the town one evening, and concealed themselves in a 
cave until night ; but their own servant, a marine 
belonging to the Le Minerve frigate called Wilson, in- 
formed where they were. The soldiers called them 
out from the cave, and killed poor Mr. Haywood on 
the spot, and cut Mr. Gale very badly with the sword, 
so you could not easily make your escape uninjured. 
I made two or three unsuccessful attempts to escape 
before I succeeded. The prison was well guarded day 
and night, and besides, we were mustered by name 
three times a day and sometimes in the night, so there 
was hardly a possibility of getting away except by 
stratagem. 

About this time Bonaparte's army was in Spain, and 
they very much wanted recruits for that army, for 
which purpose they sent officers to each depot of 
prisoners to recruit men to form an Irish brigade. 
Accordingly a Captain Mackey and a Lieutenant 
Devereaux (two Irishmen), who, we supposed, had left 
Ireland at the time of the Rebellion, came to the depot 
at Givet for that purpose, and any men who would say 
they were Irish might go, not regarding what nation 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 79 

they really belonged to on the French books, so that 
in a very few days, such was the desire to get clear of 
the prison, they enlisted 400 or 500 men from our 
depot only, the prison gates being thrown open day 
and night for recruiting purposes. How many went 
from other depots I do not know, but I believe a great 
many. The men were drilled and sent off to the 
French army in Spain as soon as possible. 

At this time the Captain of a French privateer came 
to the prison to get a crew of foreigners to man his 
ship, then at Morlaix. Now, as I was registered on 
the books as an Englishman, I could not go, and not 
knowing how to act, I at length agreed with an old 
American, called Thomas Aldridge, of New York, to 
exchange names in the depot. With him, then, I was 
enlisted, and away we went, about twenty of us of 
various nations ; but before we had got far the same 
soldier officers — Captain Mackey and Lieutenant 
Devereaux — had us stopped, and wrote to Paris, say- 
ing we were Irish and not Americans, hoping thereby 
to get us to go for soldiers ; but we all refused to go 
with them, and after receiving twenty days' pay from 
the Captain of the privateer, we were conducted back 
again to the dismal prison, and what added to our 
misery, the one penny per day allowed us by the 
English was withheld, because it was said we had 
been in the French service. This almost drove us to 
despair ; but very soon another opportunity offered 
itself. 

The Danes had made peace with France, and all 
men belonging to that nation were released from 
prison ; but one of them left a Danish protection with 
one of the prisoners, and by stratagem he got more 
printed, and distributed them amongst us. Several of 



So PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

us petitioned Paris, claiming our release as Danes who 
were then not at war with France, sending our forged 
protections to Paris for inspection, and very soon an 
order came for our release. I had sent my name as 
Thomas Colby, a name I had taken after 1 came back 
from the privateer in exchange with a man of that 
name, in order that I might be with my old mess- 
mates, and so, when the order came for my release, he, 
of course, said he was Colby, and I was again dis- 
appointed. I tried the plan again in my own name, 
only making it Williamson instead of Williams. I 
received a very good report, but they did not let me 
go. In the course of a little while the Irish brigade 
that was recruited from the different prisons and sent 
into Spain, having come in contact with the English 
army under Lord Wellington, we were informed that 
the first battalion deserted from the French with arms 
and colours. Be that as it may, they were disbanded, 
and the men sent back again to prison, but not to the 
same depots they were recruited from. A very large 
number — I believe 1,300 — arrived at Givet and were 
put into rooms at one end of the building". 

The same day the Irish came I and my two comrades 
— Henry Blight and Robert Burns — passed our even- 
ing muster about six o'clock in the month of March, 
181 1, and then ran down the ranks to where the Irish- 
men were, and were locked up with them. About 
eleven o'clock the same night we made our escape 
through the window, being let down by one of the 
Irishmen, who said as 1 was going through the window, 
"By God, boys, if I had shoes I would go with ye !" 
There was a sentry placed at a little distance from the 
window, whom I could very plainly see smoking his 
pipe as I descended by the rope of sheets. We made 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 81 

the best of our way to the wall of the fortification, 
creeping on our hands and knees until we came near 
the drawbridge, when we saw another man smoking 
his pipe, which caused us to ascend the lower part of 
Charlemont, where we found a high wall which gave 
us much pains to climb, succeeding at length by getting 
on each other's backs, and then dragging the last man 
up. The wall proved to be much higher on the off 
side, and having nothing by which to lower ourselves 
down, we were obliged to drop from a very great 
height, which we did, and, thank God ! received no 
hurt beyond a severe shaking. We got into the fields, 
and on that day into a wood, but the weather was 
very severe. During that night and next day it never 
stopped raining the whole time, with much thunder 
and lightning, and being very wet we could not attempt 
to lie down, although we had walked many miles with- 
out anything to eat. 

On the morning of the second day, having walked 
many miles during the night, we crossed the skirts of 
a wood, and just as we were contriving which way to 
get meat, and how to hide ourselves for the day, we 
were attacked by the Wood Rangers, and captured 
and marched to the town of Charleroi, and next day 
began our march back to the infernal abode, which we 
reached on the fourth day. We were taken to the 
fortification of Charlemont and put into a dark cell 
underground, dug out of the solid rock. They told us 
that the Bishop of Cambray ran out of it to the 
guillotine to be executed at the time of the Revolution. 
In a few days we were escorted down to the Town 
Hall to be tried by a military court martial, according 
to a law recently made to deter prisoners from making 
their escape, which we knew very well before we 

6 



82 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

started, but as the negro says, " No catche, no havee." 
However, we were tried and found guilty, notwith- 
standing we had an advocate to plead for us, who was 
paid by Mr. Wolfe, the chaplain. The trial lasted 
nearly all the day, and caused a very great sensation 
amongst the inhabitants, many being affected to 
tears. 

We were condemned to suffer six years in irons, 
and were put into a round tower for some days, and 
then marched off with an escort of gendarmes. On 
the fourth day we arrived at Meziers, where we were 
confined in the county gaol with other criminals wait- 
ing to be sent to the place of our destination, which 
was either Brest or Toulon. After being there five or 
six weeks, one day to our great surprise we were 
visited by an English officer, who gave us five francs. 
He had seen a copy of our condemnation posted in the 
town. We were very glad to see him, as we feared 
they would keep us in irons the whole of the time, 
whether an exchange of prisoners would take place or 
not. 

Telling him our fears, he said : " Be not afraid, my 
men, your country will look out for you." 

The jailer treated us very kindly during our stay 
with him, and one day he came in to us in great glee 
and said : " Englishmen, you are pardoned by the 
Emperor ; the young King of Rome is born, and 
you are to be marched back to Givet again free of 
irons." 

Accordingly we began our march the next day with 
two gendarmes as escort, but free of irons, which was 
a great treat. 

Having reached the depot on the fourth day, the 
prisoners were all on the qui vive for us, waiting to 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 83 

receive our little traps, when, to our chagrin, as we 
were about to enter the depot we were told we must 
go into the town to the General, and not to the Com- 
mandant of the depot. When we arrived in the town, 
they told us that the General was not at home, and 
that they must conduct us to the prison on Charlemont 
until his arrival. This we refused to do, saying we 
had been pardoned by the Emperor, and were not to 
be confined in a cell again. They said, "You will be 
brought down again in the morn." We still persisted 
in our refusal, and at length they began to be very 
angry, threatening to cut us with their swords. Fear- 
ing they would do so, the gentlemen of the town 
persuaded us to go with them. 

When we arrived on the mount the old jailer knew 
us, and wanted to put us down into the dark cell 
again, but we resisted, and told him we were not con- 
demned now, but were pardoned by the Emperor. At 
length he sent for the guard, and we told them the 
same story, saying we were to be sent down to the 
depot to-morrow. Then the jailer put us upstairs in 
a large room with a guard bed to sleep upon, but 
without straw. Seeing there was no straw, we deter- 
mined to have some before we entered the room, and 
stayed on the stairs. After a long parley with the old 
chap, he sent to the guard-house for the corporal, 
who came, and decided in our favour. We had our 
straw and were shut into our new abode, with the 
expectation of going down to the depot in the morn- 
ing ; but the morning came, and the next day also, with- 
out any signs of our being released. It was all a fable, 
and we were thus kept in suspense for about a fort- 
night, the truth being that they feared to let us in 
with the other prisoners in the depot, thinking we 



8 4 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

should contaminate them, and all the time they were 
preparing a place for us at Briancon on the Alps, as 
we discovered after our second escape. 

Finding our case desperate, we began to plan the 
best way for our escape. Now, the jail is situated on 
the top of the ramparts of the fortification, and we 
were in a pretty large room upstairs, with a strong- 
door locked and bolted on the outside ; in that door 
there was a small square door cut just large enough 
to hand our bread and water through. The large 
door was never required to be opened except to take 
in or let out prisoners ; there was a chimney and one 
window well barred with iron, with an iron grating 
before them. Our first operation was to try and dig 
a hole through the end of the building under the guard 
bed, but having very poor tools for that purpose, we 
were obliged to give it up. One day, when doing our 
best at it, I caught a severe cold in my bowels, and was 
laid up all the time afterwards until the night of our 
exit. They would not allow me to go to the hospital 
nor give me any medicine, but some English gentle- 
men sent coarse sheets to cover us. 

During my illness my comrades had taken down the 
side of the chimney, which could not be seen by the 
jailer when looking in at the small door ; after taking- 
out one brick, they could break down and build up at 
pleasure, and this they did until they reached the top 
of the room we were in ; then we entered the garret 
above close to the ceiling, where the jailer kept all 
his manacles, and which had a window in the roof not 
barred. Very soon all was ready for our departure, 
everything built up again waiting for my recovery ; 
but after waiting in suspense for more than a week, 
fearing the jailer would go into the garret, and I 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 85 

being no better, we began to despair, but my comrades 
would not go without me. 

One day, to our great surprise, a doctor from the 
depot, Mr. Welsh, was allowed to see me, bringing 
with him a bottle of wine and a phial of castor-oil. I 
had not eaten anything for several days, and was 
getting very weak. Not knowing the use of castor-oil, 
I refused to take it ; but I took a part of the wine, and 
soon went to sleep, not having slept for a long time. 
When I awoke I found I was quite free from pain, but 
I had no appetite, neither had I taken any meat for 
some days. I said : " Now, boys, get ready, I will go 
with you to-night on this condition, that if I can't pro- 
ceed you will not leave me in the woods to die, but will 
take me to some house." To this they readily con- 
sented, and we began to cut up the sheets to make our 
rope with which to descend from the top of the house 
and from the rampart wall. 

At about eleven o'clock at night, we all five (for we 
released two others that were confined there for mis- 
demeanour in the depot) got into the garret, I being 
the last. We then made our rope of sheets fast to the 
ceiling, and descended outside the fortification. When 
I got on the top of the house I was so weak I could not 
tell whether I should fall over or not. At length I 
took hold of the rope and got down safely ; then we 
had a very dangerous place to pass quite on the edge 
of a precipice, it being very dark. However, we all 
got over, and then had another high wall to mount 
before we were clear of the fortification ; this we did 
by helping one up first, and then the next, until we all 
got over. We reached the fields, and bid the old 
jailer good-bye for ever. I must not forget to say, to 
the credit of the prisoners in the depot, that they all 



86 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

subscribed money for us if we should be taken. The 
French were not aware of our departure until the 
prisoners saw the sheet flying away from the top of 
the house, when they made three loud hurrahs ! 

Before I quitted the jail, I put the phial of castor-oil 
in my pocket in case I should need it on the road. 

The second morning after we left we halted on the 
top of a little hill covered with wood, and cast lots as 
to who should go and seek for bread. We knew we 
were not far from some house, as we had heard 
whistling all the morning; the lot did not come to me, 
but upon two others. Away they started and soon 
found the house, and instead of men whistling they 
were bouncing girls. A little before dark we went 
down to the farm-house, being very hungry, not having 
had anything to eat for some time, and knowing that 
if we had found men there instead of women, we 
should not be able to contend with them. But it was 
all right, only an old woman and her two daughters, 
who boiled us some milk and bread, and for the first 
time since we left the prison I made an excellent meal. 
From that time I gained strength every day, and there 
I left my phial of castor-oil tied to a tree, and there 
it is to this day for all I know. 

We left the old lady with many thanks, and bent our 
course for the waterside. We were eleven nights in 
getting down to the sea, and had many a disaster 
to encounter on the road. We contrived to be near a 
house a little before dark, as the people went very 
early to bed ; and it was my duty to make the appeal 
to whoever came to the door, in which I was generally 
successful in obtaining bread, and very often milk. 

On one occasion we had a very near chance of being 
captured. We were travelling through a wood, and 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 87 

seeing a house at a little distance, supposing it to be a 
farm-house, we made for it and knocked at the door, 
and when it was opened, to our great astonishment it 
was a Guard Champetre's,* with all his arms and 
accoutrements hung round the walls, and a very 
sturdy looking fellow he was ; but finding that he was 
outnumbered, he acted the wise part in being civil. 
We took possession, and kept a sentry at the door 
whilst he got us a bowl of bread and milk, and after 
warming ourselves by the fire and chatting a little with 
the host, we took our departure. 

A little before daybreak, at the skirts of the wood, 
we saw a village. One of the party went to look for a 
house to rest in during the day, as we were well tired, 
and he returned to us with good tidings. Away we 
started, and found that our new host was a very good 
fellow; he secreted us in one of his chambers during the 
day. Having occasion to go to the town to market 
for provisions, he heard the town crier calling about 
the town, saying that several thieves had broken into 
the Guard Champetre's house and robbed him. Our 
host came back and told us the story, which amused 
both him and us. He then had two sons, deserters 
from the army, secreted in the house, and, what was 
very curious, two deaf-and-dumb daughters, who were 
our companions the greater part of the day. 

The village we were in, the master of the house told 
us, was the village where the Duke of York's head- 
quarters were at the Siege of Valenciennes. After 
having refreshed ourselves with meat and sleep, as 
soon as night came we started again for the north, the 
friendly host, armed with a pitchfork, going with us 

* Men who keep guard in the wood to catch deserters from the 

arm}'. 



88 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

the greater part of the night to put us on the right 
road, when we parted as brothers. 

We could not possibly attempt to walk on the main 
road for fear of being seen, and for that reason we 
struck across the country, which made our travelling 
very irksome and slow. Our principal guide was that 
beautiful comet which appeared every night, and which 
we believed was in the north-west quarter; and some- 
times we marched by the North Star, which we always 
knew, so that we made a pretty direct course towards 
the mark. 

We were not able to walk by day for fear of being- 
seen, knowing all were our enemies, so marched only 
by night ; and during the day we contrived to get into 
the middle of a wood, or into a cornfield, to hide. 
Being in a cornfield one morning, to our great surprise, 
we were surrounded by a number of women who had 
come to cut the corn. Up we started, and ran as if for 
our lives, and the women began to shout loudly. 
I believe they were more frightened than we were. We 
found another hiding-place, and rested quietly until 
night. 

Our next difficulty was to cross the rivers. One 
night we came to a deep river, and how to cross it we 
did not know. After travelling along the banks for 
some miles in hopes of finding a ferry, with daylight 
coming on, my partners — who could swim but I could 
not — suggested our taking one of the horses grazing 
beside the river and riding it through the stream ; but 
I did not like that, as I was not a very good rider. At 
length we placed a gate upon a harrow, and putting 
them into the river and myself on the top, with the 
other men's clothes, they swimming" alongside and 
pushing me along, with much trouble we at length 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 89 

arrived safely on the opposite side. We went to a 
farm-house at no great distance, and were put into the 
barn for the day, and well supplied with bread and 
soup. 

Shortly after our arrival some gendarmes came in 
search of us, having seen the damage done by the 
river-side, supposing it to be deserters from the army ; 
but our good host would not give them any assistance, 
but told us if we were molested to use the poles in the 
barn as weapons ; but we passed the day in safety. I 
was requested by the mistress of the house to stay 
behind awhile ; but I did not consent, always keeping 
my native country in view. 

You may easily picture to yourself the joy we mani- 
fested at once more seeing the sea and hearing the 
billows breaking on the shore. 

On the eleventh night after our escape we arrived 
at a place called Nieuport, near Ostend. It rained 
incessantly for some hours, and we had nothing to 
shelter us but the stalks of barley-corn in the fields, 
which was nearly ripe. 

One of our number, named Thomas Eyles, caught 
a severe cold, and had the shingles all over his back, 
which made him very weak. This man Eyles had 
a cap made of dog's skin, and when going through the 
villages by night all the dogs would come out against 
him and make a bitter yelling, which amused us very 
much, and we used to think it was in consequence of 
the dogskin cap. 

We stayed near the water-side until the next day, 
hoping to see a boat laid up on the beach, and to our 
great joy we observed several large boats coming out 
of Nieuport River, either for trawling or dredging 
near the shore, and in the evening they all went back 



90 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

again into the river. At night we made the best of 
our way to the place where they went, and found a 
boat lying at anchor in the river, a little way from the 
shore. One of our hands, named Robert Burns, stripped 
off his clothes and swam to the boat, whilst we waited 
on the shore ready to jump on board ; but just as he 
got in over the bows a man rose up in the stern, and 
Burns, fearing that there were more of them, jumped 
overboard again and swam to shore. The others then 
stripped to swim to the boat to pin the man, whilst 
I held their clothes and a large loaf of bread which we 
obtained the day before to carry to sea with us. As 
they made the attempt, the fellow made such an alarm 
in Flemish (he did not speak French), that at length 
we heard voices coming very near us, and were then 
obliged to dress and get away as fast as possible, 
making the best of our way towards Ostend. 

We had not gone far before our friend Eyles (who 
was still unwell) was obliged to lie down and cry, and 
begged of us to leave him there to die. We gave him 
part of the little money we had, and there reluctantly 
left him. The next day he was taken and put into 
Nieuport jail. 

I should here mention that on coming down to the 
water-side we had determined, if possible, not to be 
carried back to the depot of Givet again, as we knew 
our doom if we were. Accordingly we determined, if 
captured, to pass for newly taken prisoners belonging 
to the Grapler gun-brig, all the principal officers being 
well known to us by name ; and in order to be perfect 
in our story, every day when in the woods or corn- 
fields we would catechize each other on the subject 
until we became quite perfect in our plan. 

When Eyles was taken into Nieuport he was 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 91 

examined, and he told them what I have stated above, 
when he was at once sent to the nearest depot, and 
here I will leave him. 

We made our way along the beach towards Ostend, 
hoping to find a boat on the shore; and when within 
a short distance of the town we espied something in 
the horizon like boats' masts, but, to our great sur- 
prise, it was a file of soldiers guarding the coast. We 
passed close to them without exchanging words ; they 
kept their way, and we kept ours ; but, unfortunately, 
just as we were rejoicing at our narrow escape, we 
were attacked by seven or eight Custom House officers, 
being between two fires, with no possibility of escape. 
They conducted us to their guard-house and treated 
us very well; we pretended we could not speak French, 
being so lately landed. They did all they could to speak 
to us in English, which they did very badly. They gave 
us a loaf of bread and some water, and allowed us to 
stay to eat it ; but we were not very hungry at the 
time, as I had part of a large loaf under my arm when 
captured, and on entering the guard-house I threw it 
under the guard bed. When they thought we had 
finished eating, we were put into the town jail just 
as the town clock struck 12 p.m., and then we knew 
our doom. 

After we entered the jail, and were sitting down in 
the jailer's room, we began to bemoan our misfortunes, 
and I suppose with no suppressed language, until we 
discovered that the jailer — the old vagabond — could 
speak English, which made us very guarded in future 
in what we said. We took care to give him the 
details, in accordance with our scheme, how we had 
been cast away in the ship's boat, etc. He put us into 
a cell for the night, and next day we were conducted 



92 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

to the Town Hall, and there examined by an inter- 
preter, each man separately ; and after giving them the 
account of our loss and capture, according to our plan, 
we were conducted back to our former lodgings ; and 
so they continued to try us nearly every day for the 
space of three weeks, wanting to prove that we were 
landing spies on the shore. As we knew their object, 
we took care to answer them accordingly ; but they 
were not aware that we understood what they were 
saying. The jailer had strict orders to see whether 
we used any French money or not ; but, in order to 
deceive him, we hung a little bag out of the prison 
window, so that anyone passing might drop in a sol ; 
by that means we were able to use the few pence we 
had without suspicion. We also had some silver sewn 
in our clothes, but were afraid to spend it with the 
jailer, as he was a spy upon us. One day he gave us 
a loaf of bread for our allowance with a large hole dug 
out by the rats, gone quite blue, mouldy, and, although 
we were very hungry, we could not eat it, but hung it 
out of the window by our string, and soon a French 
soldier came in and gave us a loaf. 

There happened to be in the jail at this time a 
Spanish sergeant who had committed some depreda- 
tion at the depot at Lille and was sent here for punish- 
ment — his wife came to see him two or three times in 
the week. We got into conversation with him in 
broken Spanish, fearing to speak French on account of 
the jailer. We were almost starved with the prison 
allowance, and all our silver was gone ; so we con- 
trived to give the Spaniard's wife a gold coin called a 
Napoleon to change and buy us a piece of cooked 
pork, which she very readily did, and brought it to us 
when she next came to visit her husband. She gave 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 93 

us the change from her pocket without counting it, 
which would have taken too long, as we were always 
afraid of detection by the jailer. We were quite 
satisfied with the change, and made signs to that effect ; 
but she told her husband she had given us too much 
change, and he came and told us so. We, however, 
understood him to be inquiring whether we were 
satisfied with the change, and he got very angry and 
went out and beat his wife. It appears she had put 
our change into her pocket with her own money, and 
had given us all she had. In consequence of the 
beating she came no more to the jail during our stay 
at Ostend, much to the distress of the husband, whom 
we greatly pitied. 

The last day but one that we were examined we 
heard them say : " If they really do belong to the 
Grapler, no doubt their linen is marked, and we will 
examine them to-morrow." As soon as we came back, 
having on two shirts each, we took off one and thrust 
them down the privy, with some other things, as we 
feared a general search. 

We were called the next day as usual, when they 
made a short examination without stripping us, and 
we heard them say, " Tout le merae chose," which gave 
us great encouragement. They then said : " You are 
to go to Arras, the nearest depot, as newly taken 
prisoners ;" and in a day or two we commenced our 
journey. 

During our stay at Ostend a young man of the town 
named Peter Wefors came to see us ; he could speak 
English quite well, but we suspected he had been sent 
by the authorities as a spy. We had a long chat and 
a bottle or two of good gin with him ; but we were 
very shy at first, but found him free in telling us many 



94 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

interesting things, amongst others, that he knew 
England well, especially London, Portsmouth, and 
Plymouth. We asked him whom he knew at Ply- 
mouth, whereupon he drew a pocket-book from his 
pocket and read several names, which happened to be 
names very familiar to us. We asked him how he 
came to know those gentlemen, when he very frankly 
told us ; we then had no reserve ourselves, knowing 
we had him safe enough. 

There happened to be five midshipmen of the 
English Navy who had broken their parole at Verdun 
for the express purpose of being sent to a confined 
depot in order to desert. I had the pleasure of seeing 
them go over the railings of the prison, some of them 
dressed in women's clothes with a basket of potatoes 
on their backs, as was the custom of the women who 
came to the prison gate to sell. 

Our friend said they came to his mother's house in 
disguise one night, in order to find means to be put off 
from the coast, but could not find an opportunity for 
about six months. At length a friend of Mrs. Wefors 
conveyed them on board a vessel bound to England. 
You may be surprised to learn that licensed vessels 
were permitted to trade from England to Ostend 
during the long war with France, and our friend, 
Peter Wefors, belonged to one of them. 

The day after our interview with him his sister, 
Mary Ann, paid us a visit and treated us with great 
kindness. I had a copy of my condemnation sewn 
inside the lining of my hat. I cut it out and sent it for 
her mother to read. She told us that both her mother 
and herself cried the whole night ; she wanted to have 
our linen to wash, but, unfortunately, we had only one 
shirt each, having disposed of the others as stated above. 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 95 

Mrs. Wefors was an Englishwoman from Liverpool, 
and had married the master of a French galliot, which 
was lost on the Goodwin Sands. You must under- 
stand that we changed our names for the purpose of 
carrying out our scheme. I was called William Young, 
and have frequently cut that name on the window 
shutters of Ostend Jail. 

At length our day of departure came, and off we 
went with new hearts, having, by adhering to our 
plan, foiled the wily Frenchman, and that day we 
arrived at a large town called Bruges. As we entered 
the jail the first man who spoke to us was a foreigner 
who could speak English very well, and he told us 
that there was an Englishman in the jail who had 
that day given himself up as an old prisoner who had 
run away from Givet, and described the whole affair of 
our escape so minutely to the jailer that our new 
friend feared we should be detained again as old 
prisoners who had escaped. We, however, denied all 
knowledge of this man, and would not even speak to 
him during the time we were in the prison. I believe 
his object was to get back to Givet to receive the 
money they had subscribed for us when we escaped 
from Charlemont. 

In a day or two we were escorted into the town 
before the Prefect, and there strictly examined, our 
real names being read over to us and the like ; but we 
denied all knowledge of the affair at Givet, and adhered 
to our plan. I do not know what he thought of us, 
but we were conducted back again to our quarters, 
nothing more being said to us for four weeks, when we 
were again escorted into the town before the Prefect, 
who examined us this time very roughly, and told us 
if we did not confess we should be kept in irons on 



96 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

bread and water until we did. On our return to the 
prison we consulted together as to our best mode of 
proceeding, and came to our decision. Accordingly 
the next day we went to the jailer, and told him the 
whole tragedy in his own language, and ever after 
that we were better treated. 

During our nine weeks' stay in Bruges Jail we saw 
some very striking scenes of misery and wretchedness. 
The jail was a large building, which had formerly been 
a nunnery ; but since the Revolution it had been con- 
verted into a jail for deserters from the conscription, 
or from the army, and for other minor crimes. I have 
seen as many as two or three hundred brought in at 
one time, and you would be surprised to see the many 
different stratagems they used, either to disable them- 
selves or to get sick, so that they might be sent to the 
hospital. Hundreds of them from Gascony had cut off 
the first joint of the fore-finger of the right hand, so 
that they could not fire a musket, and others I have 
seen take a piece of twine and see-saw it across the 
leg until they had made a wound ; then they would 
put a laird, which is a small copper coin, on the part, 
and tie it tight until it festered into a wound, and many 
other such projects, rather than go to the army. 

We slept in small rooms, seven persons in a room, 
which had been used by only one nun ; and they were 
careful to leave but one Englishman in the same room 
with six Frenchmen, so that we never could have an 
opportunity of escape. 

During the day we were kept in a large courtyard 
till six o'clock in the evening, and then were locked 
up in our small cells until the next day, and so on for 
nine long weeks. 

One day, when walking about the yard, I fell in 



; I 




THOMAS WILLIAMS 97 

with a sailor, and, after a little preliminary conversa- 
tion, found that he was a fisherman from a place called 
Blankenburgh, where they land their boats on the 
beach ; and, finding him very communicative, we got 
intimate from day to day. At length he told me the 
cause of his being in prison, which was all I wanted 
to know. He said he was taken up on suspicion of 
putting English prisoners off in his boat, but they 
had no proof in the matter, and he thought he should 
soon be released ; but he gave me to understand that 
such was really the case, so we got closer united than 
ever. We then began to contrive the best means for 
our escape from Bruges, and as it was useless to 
attempt to escape from the jail, not being allowed to 
sleep together, we could not make any united effort 
for the purpose. We then thought on a new stratagem, 
which was, you will say, rather a novel invention. We 
agreed with our fisherman that, after his release, we 
should prick ourselves for the itch, and thereby gain 
admission to the hospital ; and, as all our clothes would 
be taken from us to purify them, consequently we 
should be quite naked, so our friend was to bring us 
at the time appointed a dress for each of us to wear, 
and we were to drop from the window of the hospital 
when he was ready to receive us. 

In a few days our friend was released, and we were 
preparing to fulfil our engagement ; but before we had 
completed our plan, one morning, to our great surprise, 
two young Englishmen, named Gordon and Street, 
midshipmen, belonging to the Blanche frigate, were 
brought to the jail ; they had been found concealed in 
the house of our friend's father, who kept a public- 
house near the beach at Blankenburgh, called the 
Barque and Ray. It was rather a curious incident 

7 



98 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

that led to their capture. It so happened that at the 
depot of Givet, the place of our confinement, the wife 
of the clerk to the Commandant fell in love with a 
young Englishman called Robert Smith, one of Sun- 
derland, who used to work in the husband's office ; 
both of them were well known to me. They deter- 
mined, if possible, to elope for England. Accordingly 
Madame Gamant started first and reached the house 
at Blankenburgh, at which our friend belonged ; but 
poor Smith was sharply watched, and could not follow 
his beloved, as the husband began to be on the alert ; 
so, after remaining a long time waiting the arrival of 
her paramour, Madame Gamant began to expose her- 
self too openly, frequently chatting with gendarmes 
who stopped at the house. During this time the 
husband had caused inquiries to be made through 
all the gendarmerie ; but they had no suspicion of her 
for some time, until one night, quite unexpectedly, 
they surrounded the house and took her. When she 
first arrived at the Barque and Ray, Madame Gamant 
had given the mistress of the house some wearing 
apparel and other things which she thought were too 
much to take with her to England, and when arrested 
she wanted these things returned to her ; but the 
mistress would not give them up, and Madame Gamant 
refused to start without them. At length the gendarmes 
got angry at being kept waiting so long, and they went 
in search of the things themselves ; and in rummaging 
the house they discovered in a dark room the two 
English midshipmen. What became of the master of 
the house I do not know ; but the two Englishmen 
were brought to Bruges Jail, and the}- told us the 
whole tragedy. 

We were highl}' pleased with our new companions, 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 99 

they having plenty of money, and our stock being 
quite exhausted. They told us they knew of another 
house of the same description ; but, to our great morti- 
fication, the next day they were ordered down to 
Ostend to be examined. We told them the best way 
to make their escape from there was to seize the old 
jailer and lock him up, which, I believe, they did. 

We afterwards heard of their escape, and, since my 
return to England, the whole affair has been told 
to me by a servant who lived with Mr. Gordon's 
parents. 

We also heard that Madame Gamant was taken back 
to Givet, where, by the laws of France, she was imme- 
diately divorced from her husband. Poor Smith was 
brought to trial and sent to the criminal depot at 
Bitche for punishment, where Madame Gamant after- 
wards joined him. Three years later, when on my 
march to Bordeaux, I fell in with Smith and Madame 
Gamant on their way to the coast to obtain passage 
to England. 

At Bruges they served each prisoner with a wooden 
bowl and a wooden spoon, and each man had to take 
care of his own. Once a day the jailer's wife would 
bring in a kettle of soup for every ten persons, 
composed of a little bread, a few potatoes, and some 
cabbage ; and then all the bowls were placed round 
the kettle, and the soup served out. One day my 
appetite being rather keen, I made a civil growl in 
English about not having my share of the bread ; the 
mistress understood a little of what I said, but did not 
attempt to chastise me, telling her husband when he 
came home at night. 

I was then taken out of my sleeping-place, with the 
six Frenchmen, and put underground in a cell where 



ioo PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

a nun had been buried when the prison had been a 
nunnery. There was nothing to lie on but the nun's 
vault for my bed, my hat for a pillow, and my old 
jacket for a blanket. I did not fear the nun ; but I 
had that day taken off my shirt and washed it as well 
as I could without soap, and it was not dry when I 
was taken to my new abode. I had no stockings or 
drawers at the time, and very bad shoes, so you may 
guess the state of my feelings in that gloomy cell. 

From that severe treatment and other similar causes 
we were induced at length to surrender ourselves to 
the jailer as old prisoners. Accordingly we went to 
him and told him in French all our disasters. He 
was greatly astonished, and during the remainder of 
our stay he was very kind to us. 

After being there nine weeks, we received orders 
to march for our old destined spot — viz., Briancon, on 
the Alps. Upon entering these jails they search your 
pockets, and if 3^ou have a knife it is taken from you ; 
so, when passing through the jailer's house, we asked 
him to give us a knife to cut our bread with, and he 
kindly gave us a strong clasp knife such as our English 
sailors use. We were then handcuffed and marched 
away with two horse gendarmes as an escort. 

Our next town was a small one called Thilt, distant 
from Bruges about twelve miles. We got in pretty 
earl}' in the day, and had some time on our hands for 
study. There we fell in with some other prisoners 
marching up country. Our destined place for the 
night was a cell underground ; but five or six of us 
gave the jailer two sols each to be put in a room 
upstairs (the others were put below). There was 
a fireplace in the room and a privy, with a sleeping- 
place boarded off from the large room, having a large 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 101 

bolt outside the door; the jailer lived in the other end 
of the building on the same floor. 

When all was quiet, we pitched on the back of the 
chimney with our new knife, and got a small hole 
through before night. Finding we could not complete 
our work in time to get away that night, one of our 
new companions, who had a pair of sea-boots, in order 
that the jailer, when he came to shut us up for the 
night, should not see the hole we had made, cut off 
the top of one of the sea-boots and pinned it up 
against the white lime in the hole ; and then we went 
to our small room to lie down on the straw, not for- 
getting to leave one of our party, called Hambly, in 
the privy. 

When the jailer found we were all quiet and gone 
to bed, he came and counted us as we were lying 
down. We had made a bunch of straw to serve for 
little Hambly (for he was a little fellow), so the jailer 
bolted the door and went to his own apartment. 

When Hambly heard the jailer's door shut, he came 
out of his hiding-place and unbolted our door, and we 
were soon into the large room and commenced at our 
former work ; but, for want of better tools than our 
knife, we made little progress. Having worked hard all 
night, when daylight came I could hardly get my head 
out of the hole, which I found to be 12 or 14 feet from 
the ground outside. In that country there is no grate 
in the chimney as in England ; they burn wood, and 
lay the wood on two pieces of iron, ornamented, some 
with lions' heads and some with dogs', etc. We knew 
we should be found out in the morning when the 
jailer came to see us, and be well punished during our 
whole march, so we took those two iron ornaments 
and beat a hole large enough to make our escape. 



102 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

The jailer heard our knocking and thought we wanted 
him, and was soon amongst us ; but, to his great terror, 
we were all in the large room. He did all he could to 
secure us ; but I and my two friends, Blight and Burns, 
made our escape. The first man was obliged to take 
off his jacket and waistcoat to get through the hole 
and the other lost his hat. The second one and myself 
had a struggle who should go first ; but, being the 
smaller, I lost the day. When my turn came I could 
go through without stripping, and, as soon as I was 
clear, I caught the first man's jacket and waistcoat and 
the second's hat. 

During this time the jailer was doing his best to 
secure the others who remained, and how he did it I 
do not know to this day, as I never saw them again. 

As soon as we recovered from the bustle, we started 
off at no small rate, and soon heard the horse gendarmes 
in chase of us ; but we got into a wood that had been 
recently cut down and had grown up into brushwood, 
creeping upon our hands and knees for a long way, 
and then laying down for the day. We were so near 
a dwelling-house that we could hear a cock crowing 
and a child crying. 

As soon as it was dark, we made the best of our way 
for Nieuport River, where we had tried for the boat 
before. When we arrived, we found they had placed 
a sentry to guard the boats. Finding we could do 
nothing there, we traversed the coast until we came 
to Dunkirk, and having crossed a small river at the 
back of the town, which we wished to pass before 
morning, to our great surprise we found ourselves on 
an island, and could not possibly cross the other branch 
of the river. Daylight was come abroad, and there 
being only one house on the island, and no other 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 103 

hiding-place, we made up our minds to go to the 
house and knock them up at all hazards. Accordingly 
I went and knocked, when a man came downstairs in 
his shirt and opened the door — a very rough customer 
he was — asking me what I wanted in a very stern 
manner. I said, " Will you be pleased to give me a 
drink of water?" He turned round to his wife, who 
had followed him downstairs in her nightdress, and 
said something to her in Flemish which I could not 
understand. At length a jug of water was given us, 
and then we asked for a bit of bread. They went 
through the same ceremony as before, and so on until 
we got them to let us in, made a good fire, and boiled 
us a dish of milk and bread, which I assure you was 
very acceptable, not having had a warm meal for a 
long time. 

We generally contrived to get near a house before 
dark, as we were then sure that not many men would 
be about. It was my province to enter and make my 
best conditions with the family, whilst the others kept 
sentry outside ; and if I found things not very com- 
fortable, I summoned my troop, and then they were 
forced to comply with our demands, so that we gener- 
ally had enough bread. We could supply ourselves 
with water sometimes from the horse-tracks on the 
road, and often from the rivulets which we passed. 

After we had taken our meal, then the trial came 
where we should hide ourselves, knowing we could 
not do so outside ; so we had to appeal to the tender 
feelings of our host, who in all this had not inquired 
who or what we were, but said : " If you are found in 
my house, I shall be sent to the galleys." 

However, after much entreaty, he allowed us to 
sleep in a loft over the house, or rather, an onion 



104 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

store, for it was nearly full of onions, and there we 

stayed all that day unmolested. 

On leaving them at night, he very pointedly inquired 

who and what we were and where we were going. 

We told him we were Englishmen, and trying to get 

to our own country. 

He replied, " I thought you were," and said : "There 

are forty sail of your countrymen now in the harbour. 

Why don't you try and go with them." He also said : 

" They come out here frequently to buy milk and 

cream, and I think they will take you on board." 

We knew we could not enter the town without being 
strictly examined at the drawbridge, and not being 
clothed in sailor's dress, we should look very suspicious 
fellows ; so our host consented, if we would write a 
letter to our countrymen, he would on the morrow 
take it into the town, and we stayed there that night 
in great expectations of our release. I wrote a long 
epistle, describing our situation, how we had been 
condemned to six years in irons, and what punishment 
we expected if taken again ; and also said, when we 
broke prison at Charlemont, there were five or six 
of their townsmen from Deal or Dover, mentioning 
their names, confined in another cell, but we could not 
release them, and many other things of a touching 
nature, hoping to work upon their feelings, but it 
proved of no avail. 

Next morning our host dressed himself in his best 
attire and started off for the town with the letter, the 
wife in dread of his being detected; and as he did not 
return so soon as expected, she was in great distress, 
so that it required all our sophistry to console her, 
well knowing he had undertaken a very dangerous 
voyage. 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 105 

When he got on the quay he saw an English sailor, 
and asked him if he could speak French. He said, 
"No." Then our messenger took out the letter and 
showed it to him, whereupon the Englishman took 
him to their house of rendezvous, where they all were 
assembled in the back premises. After reading the 
letter and a long consultation, they went away and left 
the Frenchman to himself. He waited a long while 
for their answer, supposing they were writing a letter 
to us in return. At length an old man came with our 
letter open, giving him to understand that he wished 
to keep the letter, but would not write one to us in 
return. As our host could not speak English nor they 
French, he could not reason with them on the subject, 
but gave them to understand they should have the 
letter if they would write one to us, but they would 
not, neither would they come to see us; so our host 
returned in a bitter temper, and made use of very 
strong language against them. 

"Stop here to-night," he said to me, "and I will put 
you in over the ramparts in the morning. I know a 
breach where I can take you over. Only follow me, 
and I have no doubt but they will takejyow." 

I thanked him for his kind offer, but said I would 
not risk it with such a set of bad fellows, and I would 
rather try my luck with my two comrades, hoping we 
should obtain a boat somewhere on the coast. Besides, 
my comrades could not speak the language, and were 
not willing that I should leave them. Our friend then 
took a large cudgel with him, and away we started 
towards Calais, he going with us a great part of the 
night, when we shook hands and parted. 

On arriving at Calais, we entered an eating-house 
and had some refreshment, and as the proprietor of the 



106 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

house seemed to be friendly, we entered into conversa- 
tion with him and broached the question as to the best 
means to obtain a boat from the harbour. He promised 
to do his best for us, we of course offering to give him 
large bills on our friends at home for his trouble. 
Here we stayed two days and nights in expectation 
of something being done, but nothing appeared for us, 
and as the summer was fast passing away, we were 
not willing to stay any longer, for we saw there was 
a cutter watching the mouth of the harbour, and we 
were sure to be examined in going out of the harbour ; 
so we quitted Calais, and traversed the coast from 
there to Boulogne, but could not find anything trust- 
worthy to risk going on the water, or we should 
certainly have gone. 

We then decided to go on to Havre and there try 
to obtain a berth as American sailors, as we knew a 
great many Americans traded to that port. 

On arriving near Boulogne about the middle of the 
night, we were hailed by a sentry by the usual 
demand, "Qui vive?" We said, "Ami," and passed 
on. Shortly after we were accosted by another sentry, 
when we made the same reply and passed on as before. 
We did not know what to make of it, but thought we 
were in some gentleman's grounds, and agreed to lie 
by until daylight and see where we were, when to our 
great surprise we found we were in the same field as 
the French camp with 10,000 soldiers. 

What course to take then we did not know. To 
retreat was impossible; but after a little while we 
observed some of the soldiers come out of their camp 
and go into the town of Boulogne over the rampart 
wall, so we took courage and followed them. They 
said nothing to us nor we to them. We got into the 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 107 

upper town, and did not expect to go far before being 
captured by the gendarmes ; but being early in the 
morning, we did not see any of them, so kept going 
until we arrived on the quay amidst the small men- 
of-war, the quays being crowded with people. We 
entered a wine-house and called for a glass of brandy 
each, took our own loaf of bread (for I had been to a 
house the previous night), and asked the mistress to 
sell us some butter, which she did ; so we ate our 
morsel with our eyes out of the window watching our 
enemies. 

After some conversation with the mistress as to who 
we were and where we were going, we told her we 
were American sailors and wanted to go privateering. 
She said many of the owners lived a little above, and 
that she would go and see them, but thought they were 
not up yet. After waiting a while, she went, but soon 
returned, saying they were not up, and a second time 
returned with the same answer. Shortly after, two 
or three gendarmes entered with their swords in hand, 
buttoning up their waistcoats as they came. They 
said something to the woman behind the counter, and 
then came and demanded our passports. Of course 
we knew our doom, and were soon handcuffed and 
marched off to the civil jail. 

We found there an old Welshman named Powell in 
a most deplorable condition, covered with vermin. 
He had come to France at the time of peace to instruct 
them about the coal-mines, and when he got old and 
tired with the country, he wished to return home, but 
they would not consent to his doing so. He then 
contrived to make a canvas boat large enough to carry 
him across the Channel. After he had made it, he 
could not carry it to the sea, so he hired a woman 



108 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

to assist him ; but they were both taken in the act 
and brought to jail. How long he had been there I 
do not know. 

The day after we were put into the jail I was taken 
before the Prefect to be examined. He asked me the 
name of the last place I ran from. I told him from 
Thilt. He said he did not know where it was. 

I replied : " If you please, give me a chart of your 
country, and I will show you," which he did. 

He then asked : " How did you get out from there ?" 
I told him we made a hole in the wall. He then said 
in English : " You rascal ! you were like the little 
mouse," and laughed heartily. 

I was then escorted back to the jail to my comrades. 

The day before we left the civil jail three Englishmen 
were brought in who ran from Valenciennes prison. 
They were found in the town with a guide, and they 
were put into separate cells in the jail in order that 
they might be examined singly; but it so happened 
that the back of their privy was also the back of ours. 
By that means we told them what became of their 
guide, so they planned their story accordingly. The 
guide acted mad, and was put to the hospital. 

We were now sent to the military jail in the castle, 
into a large cell — I think twenty-five stone steps below 
the surface — where there is a long guard bed to lie on, 
but no straw, and there were hundreds of large rats. 
Here we found a great many deserters, some from the 
Army, and others from the Navy. We had soup served 
out to us once a day, and one pound of brown bread. 
The soup was brought down in large tubs, ten men to 
a tub, each man eating with his spoon from the tub as 
fast as he could. Sometimes you would meet with a 
potato in the hot soup, and it would be so hot that it 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 109 

took some time to get rid of, and in that time you 
would lose pretty much soup. 

During the ten days we were kept there we had a 
small bit of beef served out to us once, and the method 
they took to divide it was rather curious. The meat 
was brought down and put on the end of the guard 
bed, and then the prisoners were driven to the farther 
end of the cell. Two men were chosen to cut it up 
into as many pieces as there were prisoners. That 
being done, some pieces were spread abroad, and the 
great knife put on the first piece, when the nearest 
man would take it, and so on till all was done. Those 
who were behind, being anxious to get their share, 
generally made a rush, and the beef soon disappeared. 
Fearing I should get killed in the scramble, I usually 
lost my share of the prize. 

During the remainder of our stay we had no peace 
day or night with the Frenchmen, the sailors against 
the soldiers, singing songs and abusing each other, so 
that we were happy to be released from that horrible 
dungeon. 

At length our day of departure arrived, and we 
started again for our old destined place — viz., Briancon. 
In putting the handcuffs on me, I found they squeezed 
my wrist very much, and I knew they would get worse 
on the road with my hand hanging down for thirty 
miles (our day's journey), so I said to the guard: "Sir, 
this is too tight; it hurts me," when he bawled out 
with an oath : " You can speak French, can you ? You 
shan't run away from me !" He then handcuffed both 
my hands, and tied both elbows together, so you can 
judge the condition I was in at the end of the day's 
journey. My shoes at this time were nearly worn out, 
and my clothes torn by lying about for six months in 



no PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

hedges and in jails, never taking off my rags except to 
clear them of vermin. Our little stock of cash was 
quite exhausted, but our courage did not forsake 
us. Our determination to escape was always upper- 
most. 

I have forgotten the names of the towns we passed 
through, except some of the principal ones. It was 
now October month, the weather much colder, and 
sometimes very wet ; generally dark before we reached 
our place of destination for the night. Then we were 
crammed into a dark cell, to lie upon a little dirty straw 
with no fire. Sometimes we were very wet, and had 
to lie in that condition until daylight in the morning. 
If the Correspondence — viz., the guard of gendarmes 
who conduct all prisoners from town to town — should 
happen to journey our way, we started again for our 
next stage; but if not, we had to wait in jail until 
they did. 

When marching, we received one and a half pounds 
of bread served us before the start in the morning, 
also we ought to have five sols per day. When in 
the jails we were allowed one and a half pounds 
of bread and soup once a day, but no meat. When 
it happened to be raining in the morning, we were 
obliged to eat all the bread before starting in order 
to save it, and then were compelled to "box harry" 
on our twopence-halfpenn}- for the day's provision. 
On one occasion we arrived at the town after dark, 
and subscribed amongst us one penny each to have 
some boiled potatoes and salt. We made a very 
good meal, and were just going to lie down on the 
straw in a round tower, when the jailer came and 
told us that a lady in the town, having observed our 
condition when marching through the town, had sent 



THOMAS WILLIAMS in 

us soup, callavances, and some stewed meat, which 
was a severe trial for me, as I had made a good supper 
on the potatoes; but seeing the other chaps laying 
their sides to it, I said to myself, " I shan't have this 
opportunity to-morrow," so I turned to and cut away 
at it until all was done. I, however, paid dearly for 
my folly, for I so overloaded my stomach that I could 
for the greater part of the night neither walk nor lie 
down, but was obliged to sit against the prison wall in 
great pain ; but, to my great misfortune, I was never 
tempted with the like bait again. 

Our journey continued for some time, until we 
arrived at the City of Amiens, when my two partners 
failed. They were not sick, but, I think, done up. I 
went to the jailer and told him my two comrades were 
ill and must go to the hospital. Accordingly the next 
day they were sent there, and I was left to myself 
without anyone to speak to but the French conscripts. 
I expected they would keep me there until my two 
friends came out of the hospital, but instead of that, 
the next morning the gendarmes came for the English- 
man. I would not start from my straw bed for some 
time, until the jailer compelled me to come down the 
yard to the gendarme. I had tied up my head with an 
old handkerchief, and having no shoes, I crept down 
by the wall very sick indeed. The jailer said : " Why 
did you not say you were sick last night ?" I said : 
" Sir, I was taken sick in the night." I was ordered 
to come near the gendarme, who was waiting with his 
horse in the prison yard, and as soon as I approached 
him, he put a chain round me, and chained me fast to the 
saddle, and said: "If you cannot walk, I will drag 
you." 

It was now getting very cold, and I was unwilling 



ii2 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

to go by myself some hundreds of miles farther. 
However, go I must, and go I did. 

When I came from the jail into the main street I 
saw a milkmaid coming towards me in great haste 
with a glass of brandy and an old pair of shoes. The 
brandy I soon disposed of, but the shoes were too 
large, so I could not wear them. 

When we reached the city the gendarme said : 
"Englishman, you must beg through the city; it is 
the custom for prisoners to do so." I did not like the 
job, but, having had the glass of brandy, I took Dutch 
courage and doffed my old hat and went from one side 
of the street to the other as long as I could reach the 
doors or windows, and what do you think the result of 
my day's work was ? Why, the monstrous sum of six- 
pence-halfpenny ! However, that itself was a great help 
to me for several days. I roughed it pretty well with 
my French comrades until we came to St. Denis, where 
I fell in with an American called Edward Bogardes, 
one of New York, who had left his ship in France to 
go privateering ; but the French were so hard driven 
for sailors to man their navy, that they took him out 
of the privateer and put him on board a ship-of-war, 
but he continually ran away. At last they put him 
into a rigging loft ; but there he would not stay, and 
at length they sent him to Toulon, so that I had his 
company until we came to the City of Gap, on the 
Alps, about four days' march from Toulon and four 
days' march to Briancon. 

My friend the American, when I fell in with him, 
was a stout jolly sailor, having lately come from good 
keeping on board ship ; but when we parted he was 
like a jacket set on a pole. 

When we reached the City of Lyons, we received 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 113 

very different treatment to what we had on the road 
before, getting not only good bread, but soup, twice 
a day served to us by the Sisters of Mercy. They 
were accustomed to beg the city for the prisoners, and 
receive the offal from the houses of the gentry and 
make it into soup, bringing it into the prison in large 
pails. Directly they entered the ward, everyone was 
obliged to kneel down while they made a long prayer, 
and those who did not kneel they would severely 
reprimand, and very likely they would get no soup. 
The Sisters would also bring in old clothes, and give 
them to whom they would. I had only a thin pair of 
trousers, and, as it was very cold, I begged hard for 
a pair of breeches, but could never get them. 

Before we arrived at Macon we were a very long 
string of prisoners, all chained together round the neck 
with a small chain. They made it a practice if any 
Englishmen were of the party to put them in front. 
It so happened that I was the last man in the train, 
and when they unlocked the chain from the others 
they could not unlock mine, so wanted me to sleep 
all night with a long chain attached to me and round 
my neck ; but I kicked up a loud shindy about it, and 
at length they held my head down on a large stone 
and beat the chain off with a hammer. 

It was now near Christmas, and the weather bitterly 
cold. They kept us several weeks at Lyons, and then 
sent us to Grenoble, where we stayed some time. 1 
think they purposely kept us on the road a long time 
in order to prepare quarters for us at Briancon, which 
we found to be the case on our arrival there; we were 
eight days marching from Grenoble to Briancon by 
way of Gap and Embrun. 

I left Boulogne the latter part of September, 181 1, 



ii4 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

and did not arrive at Briancon until March i, 1812, 
so had been laying about in jails and on the march 
nearl}' six months. I found on my arrival a bomb- 
proof building in a large citadel set apart for deserters 
and for the scum of every depot in France. There 
was a place near Frankfort on the Rhine called Bitche, 
set apart for some years for all criminals from every 
depot, and a most horrible place it was. In order to 
fortify this place the prisoners were sent to Briancon, 
and the building in which they were placed was named 
the Bitche Building, and here I was confined for nearly 
two years. 

It was a small barracks on one side of a large 
citadel, situate on the side of a mountain, the town 
lying in the valley below. I believe it is the last 
town in France towards Italy. The fortress was very 
strong, and there were three others on the mountain 
above us, the last very near the top, called Point de 
Jour. We were shut up into different rooms in the 
corridors during the night ; but in the day we had the 
range of the corridors, receiving the usual allowance 
of bread and meat, and we prepared our own soup. 
Our food was chiefly polenta or Indian meal, and part 
of our bread was made of that meal, which was a very 
loose kind of bread, and did little service. In each 
room there was a stove for cooking our victuals, in 
which we burnt a kind of coal which we were told 
was taken from the mountains. It was small and 
slimy and full of brimstone, and we were obliged to 
make it into hard shot before we could use it. It 
would burn very well in the dark, but very badly 
during the day, and sent out a great deal of sulphur, 
which made us as black as tinkers, and, being without 
soap, you would hardly know us from real negroes. 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 115 

It also caused a deal of sickness, especially fever and 
ague. I was some time in the hospital with that com- 
plaint. 

In the citadel there were a number of English 
prisoners, both sailors and soldiers : the crew of 
H.M.S. Proserpine, Captain Otter, taken by the Toulon 
Fleet ; the crew of the Alacrity gun-brig, and others 
that I do not now remember; also many merchant- 
men taken in the Mediterranean ; likewise a number 
of English soldiers who were taken in Spain. We 
described them by three distinct appellations — viz., 
Captain Otter's were the men-of-war's men ; Lord 
Blaney's, the soldiers ; and Llo}^ds, the merchantmen. 
We had no communication with them in the depot, 
as there were two sentries walking continually before 
our building. We were obliged to fetch our own 
water and carry out our slops once a day, with a 
strong guard to watch us, notwithstanding which we 
contrived to elude them. 

When my two comrades, Henry Blight and Robert 
Burns, got well in the hospital at Amiens, they were 
marched up to Briancon and joined me in the prison. 
An order came from Paris later on to send the three 
of us down to Grenoble, the capital of Daupheny, 
to receive our pardon signed by the Emperor Napo- 
leon, and having arrived there, escorted by a strong 
guard, we were conducted to the Grande Halle, where 
sat the Prince of the High Alps and other officers, all 
in their costumes. They talked to us for a long time 
about the kindness of the Emperor in granting us 
pardon, saying that France had done all in her power 
to have an exchange of prisoners, but the English 
would not come to terms, with many other things that 
I have now forgotten. After being told we were par- 



n6 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

doned, and that, if we behaved well in going back to 
Briancon, we should have our liberty in the depot — 
which were only French promises — we were marched 
back, and again locked up in the Bitche Building, being 
kept there for two years. 

The room in which I slept was on the ground-floor 
of the building. We had a little straw in what they 
called a pias on the floor, with only a single blanket 
to cover two men, as two slept on one bed. There were 
two doors locked and bolted, and one small window 
in each room. The front wall was 9 feet thick, the end 
wall was not so thick, but built of the same kind 
of cement ; and although we were pinned so close and 
guarded so well we were constantly planning and 
plotting schemes for our escape. At first there was 
only one sentry before the building, and we began to 
dig a hole under the window, and got it to a very thin 
scale, which we thought we could get through very 
easily ; but just as we had completed our plan, they 
put on another sentry, and we were again frustrated. 
The rope which we had procured for descending the 
ramparts we buried in the hole, and there it must be 
to this day, as we nicely plastered up the place again. 

Our next plan was to go up the chimney. We could 
not get through the top as there were iron bars across, 
but we tried to dig out between the slating and the 
roof, but found it was all bomb proof, and finding we 
could make no progress, we abandoned our project. 
We then said : "The hand of time will do a great deal, 
and we will commence a hole at the end of the wall, 
and take our time about the work." After being some 
months about it, we had made but very little progress, 
as it was all strong cement. The stuff we took care 
to carry out in our slop-tub every evening, and in the 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 117 

end we made a good hole. In order to conceal it from 
the guard we made an old paper cupboard to put our 
bread in, but really to cover the hole, which did very- 
well for some time, and everything went on quietly. 

One night it was blowing very hard and snowing, 
and we were working in right earnest, thinking the 
sentries were all snug in their boxes, but it was not so 
with the one at the end of the building. He had found 
the weather so bad where his box was that he came 
down to the end for shelter, and must have heard us 
through the wall. Without making an alarm he quietly 
informed the guard, and before we had any warning 
the outer door was opened, and, being very anxious 
to catch us in the act, they injured the lock of the 
inner door, and were some time in getting in. By 
that time we had cleared away the rubbish and hung 
the cupboard over the hole, so when they entered 
everything was quiet. Every man had got under their 
blanket except myself, and I had an inch of candle 
stuck against the chimney, and was reading the leaf of 
an old book. They made every one sit up in the bed 
until they pricked all round with their swords, but 
could find nothing amiss, and were about leaving the 
room when one of them had a fancy to see our new 
cupboard, which in the hurry had not been well fixed, 
so down it came, and so you can easily guess the 
result. They commenced thrashing us with their 
swords over the naked backs of the men in bed, 
many of whom were as naked as when they were 
born ; but when we saw they were getting savage, I 
and three others told them not to beat the people any 
more, as we were the persons who made the hole. 
They then vented all their spleen upon us, and after 
well beating us, we were marched off to the Cashot, 



n8 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

which was a cell under the rampart wall close to the 
drawbridge. 

As I was leaving the room 1 took my old blanket 
from the floor and carried it with me until we were 
entering the Cashot, when one of the gendarmes spied 
it and took it from me and threw it on the snow, 
saying : " This is no place for pleasure ; get out of 
this if you can." 

The place was so dark we could scarcely see each 
other, even in the height of day, as there was no 
window and only a small hole near the roof which 
let down a little light about midday. We found the 
cell was cut out of the solid rock, and the roof arched 
over for strength. There was a building over it, and 
the inner end over the solid was mason's w T ork to 
meet the arch. There was no straw to lie on, and 
only one place that we could find to lie down clear of 
the water that dropped upon us ; but it was useless to 
complain, and w r e were not in the least disheartened, 
passing our time like true Englishmen ought to do — 
" Hope on, hope ever !" 

Our bread and soup was brought to us from the 
room we had left every day, and in the night we were 
marched out with our slops. We found that our con- 
finement in the Cashot was to be one solid month, but 
our motto was " Never despair." We found when 
speaking loud that there was an echo, which led us 
to believe that there was a passage somewhere under 
us ; but we could not dig down, not having any tools, 
until our messmates managed to smuggle to us a cramp 
out of one of the beams, and with that we made a small 
pit in the rock, but could get no farther. It served, 
however, to dip the water out of into the slop-tub. 

We then turned our attention to the piece of mason's 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 119 

wall over the end of the square, and found we could 
do business there, but where it would lead us to we 
could not tell. However, we were bound to work, 
and work we did, especially about the middle of the 
day, when the soldiers were drilling outside the 
ramparts. This was our best time for work, and in 
the course of fifteen days we had got up two large 
paving-stones, and thought we were outside the 
rampart wall. We had nearly filled our cell with 
stones and earth, but they never came to see us all 
the time we were there, thinking we were safe enough. 

The next time they brought our allowance for the 
day we requested them to bring in our clean shirts 
and other things we had left in our former room, the 
news of which spread like wildfire to our room-mates, 
who at once began a dreadful row, and the Com- 
mandant did not know how to quiet them, but at 
length he got them a little sobered down. As soon 
as he and the guards had left they were ten times 
worse than before, when he took the ringleaders, 
twenty-four in number, and brought them to the 
Cashot. We heard the row, but did not know what 
it meant until they came. Pending matters with us to 
be what they anticipated, they at once went to work 
in good earnest, not allowing us to do any more. 
They had felt quite sure we were planning escape by 
our asking for our things. 

At twelve o'clock at night, when all was quiet, the 
first man that took to the hole was George Richards, 
and he took down one of the paving-stones and looked 
about to see where we were, and lo and behold ! we 
were in the Fort Major's entry. He came down and 
told us that he could see the Fort Major in his room 
writing. We waited some time, when someone went 



120 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

up again, and then all was dark, and we all went into 
a passage leading to a stable attached to the house, 
and out of the stable window, to find that we had a 
high rampart wall to descend. 

A few days before we made our exit a detachment 
of new prisoners, soldiers taken in Spain, were 
brought to Briancon, and they were served clothes by 
order of Lord Blaney ; the wrapper of those clothes was 
given to us to cover us in the night, the only covering 
we had during our stay in the Cashot. We at once cut 
this into strips, and made a rope for descending the 
rampart wall, which was very high ; the iron we had 
worked with we drove into the ground to fasten the 
rope to, when we all descended one after another. 
One of my partners was a big man, a quaker, a Mr. John 
Cole, of Bristol, who was detained in the country at the 
time of the breaking out of the war. He said to me : 
" Williams, for God's sake, help me on the rope ! I am 
no sailor, and I am afraid I shall fall over." I said 
to him : " You are a big man, I am afraid you will 
break the rope." 

" Never mind," he said ; " if I break it, I will catch 
you." 

On these conditions I helped him on the rope. It so 
happened that when he was about half-way down the 
rope broke, and when I descended he could just reach 
my feet, and I had to drop into his arms. How the 
others got down I do not know, but they all did, even 
two bad fellows who had been put in with us for 
misdemeanour ; but we would not allow them to go 
with us when we got clear of the fortification. Accord- 
ingly they went back into the prison and gave them- 
selves up, but the guard did not know w 7 ho they were 
nor where the}' came from, until at length they went to 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 121 

see the Cashot, and then our escape became known, 
and a cannon was fired to alarm the peasants to look 
out for us. 

No one can cross the Alpine Mountains, but there 
are valleys between them called " passes," which you 
are obliged to go through ; we did not take the nearest 
one to the sea, fearing they would think that to be our 
route, but took the longest distance in order to elude 
their search. 

The first night we went up the mountain as far as we 
could before reaching the snow, and there fell in with 
a hut occupied by one woman, who was there tending 
some goats grazing on the mountain. These she kept 
to milk for butter and cheese, which appears to be the 
custom as the snow disappears from the lower part of 
the mountains. The woman boiled us some milk and 
bread, but the bread was so hard we could not bite it, 
and we were obliged to have some potatoes boiled 
instead. We came down from the mountain as soon 
as it was dark and travelled on the road till nearly 
daylight, when we espied a village on the road a little 
ahead of our party. W r e thought it best to pass that 
village before ascending the mountain. When ap- 
proaching- the village our men saw the gendarmes 
on horseback waiting for our coming, so they turned 
and kept running. There were several squads of us 
on the road, and the party with me did not know what 
they ran for, and I sung out to them : " What are you 
running for ? Wc are able to take the village." I had 
no sooner spoken than the horses were upon us. They 
fired their carbines, and wounded one or two. The 
man next to me said : " I am wounded, there is a ball 
gone through my thigh," and called me to see the 
wound. I went and examined him all over. Me was 



122 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

then lying on the ground, but I could find no blood 
nor any hole ; he could not stand, and was obliged to 
be carried to the village, and so was another man who 
was not hurt at all, but said if they wished him to go 
to the village they should carry him, and so they did. 

The head of the party, who kept running, got clear 
away for the time ; but the rest of us were put to the 
village and ordered to strip and go to bed. We 
stripped off our clothes, which they began to search, 
and we asked : " What are you searching for ?" They 
said they heard we were armed. W 7 e replied if we 
had arms they should not have taken us, and they got 
a little ashamed at this rebuke. 

Being ordered to dress as fast as possible, we were 
handcuffed and marched back again to the Cashot, all 
except the wounded, who had mules to ride on. 

Before they put us in the Cashot, they kept us in the 
guard-house until they had built up the hole and 
cleared away the rubbish. When that was finished, 
we were all crammed into the old cell, but they did not 
leave us so unconcerned as before, and we had to 
rough it out in the best way we could, fully expecting 
that our month would begin anew ; but as soon as the 
month ended we wrote a line to the Commandant 
saying our month was up, and hoped he would be 
so kind as to let us out. He at once sent a gendarme 
and let us out, without even saying we were bad 
fellows; we rather thought he gave us credit for our 
enterprise. 

We were then put into a different room in the 
building, close to the Commandant's, so that he might 
hear if we made any stir. 

The Alacrity's ship's company every month came to 
the Commandant to be paid money for having rescued 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 123 

some Frenchmen who had been put on a small island 
in the Mediterranean by the Spaniards, and when 
found were in a starving condition. When the men 
came to be paid we used to taunt them by asking 
if they had come for their prize money. You must 
know that the Alacrity had chased a French gun-brig 
for a long way, and at length got her into a bay, so that 
the Frenchman was obliged to fight, and after having 
two or three broadsides, many of the Englishmen — to 
their shame be it spoken — ran from their quarters ; 
one or more hung themselves over the bows ; the 
Lieutenant hung himself at Briancon, and Moore, the 
master, went into the French service. 

On one occasion the Commandant allowed a party 
of play-actors to come into the garrison, and they were 
fixed just opposite the Bitche Building ; as soon as they 
were ready to begin, we opened our black shot battery 
— viz., round coal balls — on them, and very soon got 
the victory. We knew we could not be worse off than 
we were, and we did not fear any colours ; and instead 
of the Commandant being angry with us, he said he 
could not blame us, as we were punished enough 
already, though he was not a merciful man. 

One night, a little before I left, some English soldiers 
were in their room playing at cards quietly to them- 
selves, when the sentry (a gendarme) looked in at the 
keyhole of the door and fired his musket into the key- 
hole and shot one man dead, and another through the 
arms, without the least provocation. 

After being confined in the building for nearly two 
years, I had ten francs sent me from my uncle, Captain 
Sincock, at Verdun. I then agreed with a man called 
W T illiam Perkin, one of Captain Otter's men, to change 
with me, I taking his name and he taking mine. I was 



i2 4 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

to give him a new shirt and five francs I had received. 
Our plan was for me to go out with the watering party 
in the evening, and he would be at the pump concealed, 
waiting for me. You must know that the water for the 
whole fort was received into large tanks from the 
different barracks of the fort, and then pumped up 
for use. Our plan succeeded very well, and I was at 
large in the great depot, but was rather out of my 
element for some time, having lost my mate. At last 
I fell in with a man called George Ross, who was 
keeping a small school, and I saw the school was 
situated very low down, adjoining the rampart wall. 
I at once went to school, and the master and I became 
great cronies, and we made up our minds to do our 
best during that winter to escape. 

Before, however, we brought our plan to perfection, 
we saw them fortifying the pass on the Station Road 
in the beginning of December, 1813, and the next news 
we had were orders to march away as soon as possible, 
in order that they might have the fort ready. 

We began our march a little before Christmas Day ; 
the cold was intense, and, after being shut up so long, 
we found it very severe. Being so badly clothed, many 
got frost-bitten, and many others sick, so that the 
hospitals on the road (where there was room) were 
obliged to take them in. Often they could not do so, 
having so many sick and wounded of their own coming- 
in waggons full every day. 

Our orders were to go to a place called Meubeuge, 
in the Netherlands, as far north nearly as they could 
send us, and prisoners from the northern depots were 
ordered to Briancon, so that the different parties crossed 
each other daily on the march. On our arrival at 
Meubeuge we were put into a barracks that had 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 125 

formerly been a depot for Spanish prisoners. We 
had liberty to go into the town to buy what we wanted. 

We arrived at Meubeuge on the 18th of January, 18 14, 
about 1,500 British prisoners of war in all, and were 
put into a large barracks — nineteen men in each room 
— having our usual allowance from the French, and one 
bundle of straw for each man to lie on, but no covering, 
although the weather was very severe, and no wood 
was given us for fire to cook our victuals with, so we 
were obliged to take part of our bed each day for that 
purpose. 

One day as we were endeavouring to cook our 
dinners we were surrounded by a file of soldiers and 
ordered to march out in line. They then conducted 
us to two subterranean vaults under the ramparts, 
one half of our number in each vault. It put me in 
mind of the children of Israel going out of Egypt with 
their kettles, kneading-troughs, etc. We could not 
assign any reason for this desperate affair, neither 
could the inhabitants of the town, but conjectured 
that our friends, the Allies, were very near us. Be 
that as it may, we were the sufferers, and never did 
you see so much distress as was experienced in that 
dark, dismal dungeon. The groans and cries of the 
people would pierce your heart ; we had not even 
room enough for all to lie down at one time. There 
was a door at one end, with a guard outside, and they 
kept us there for forty-eight hours ; it could not be 
much inferior to the Black Hole at Calcutta. After 
being there one night, I and two others found a dark 
passage, but where it led to we could not tell ; but we 
crept through it on our hands and knees until we came 
to a small hole with an iron bar across it, and we found 
it looked out into the ditch of the ramparts. We could 



126 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

not get through on account of the iron bar ; but we 
stayed there some time to have a little fresh air, then 
retreated to our wretched dungeon and endeavoured, 
without success, to obtain something to dig out the 
bar of iron at the end of the cave. 

We petitioned the authorities for our deliverance 
several times, telling them we could not possibly live 
there many hours ; and, after being there forty-eight 
hours, the}' offered conditions which were that we 
should, when let out, rail ourselves in to a certain 
place, they finding the rails and we the labour. We 
consented to these conditions, and were liberated. 
Very little of this work had been done when we 
received orders to proceed to Tours, in Touraine. 

On the 25th of January, 18 14, we started for our 
new destination, the weather being very severe, many 
having no shoes, and others no shirts, and the rest 
of our garments much tattered, with a very scanty 
allowance of food, and then it was I found the need 
of a strong nerve. 

We were paid tenpence per man before starting, 
which was to find us food for four days, as we could 
not have anything more until we arrived at the next 
Commissary town. 

We were 1,792 British subjects who left Meu- 
beuge on this morning, besides several thousands 
of Spaniards going the same way. We arrived at 
Landrecy at 6 o'clock p.m., having marched twenty- 
four miles, with a heavy fall of snow. We were well 
fatigued, and hoping we had finished our day's march, 
but, to our great mortification, were ordered to a village 
four miles farther on. 

Four or five of us agreed to leave the town and 
seize upon the first house we came to. Accordingly, 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 127 

when we came to a house a little distance from the 
town, we entered and lay down on the kitchen floor, 
but felt so cold that we could not sleep. We therefore 
left that house and found another, a farm-house, where 
we agreed to give the mistress a sol each to be allowed 
to sleep in the barn on some straw, which was a great 
treat. 

In the morning, being much refreshed, we started 
for the City of Cambray, and on arriving at the town 
of Cateau — the head-quarters of the Duke of York at 
the Siege of Valenciennes in 1793 — we were halted 
until the whole of our party arrived. Here we joined 
800 prisoners from Valenciennes and 100 from the 
depot of Cambray, then mustering 2,600 British sub- 
jects, without a guide to show us the way to the next 
town, the streets being crowded with the sick and 
wounded from the French Army coming in covered 
carts every hour of the day, also a great many Russian 
prisoners. On account of the number of prisoners 
and troops passing, the bakers could not bake fast 
enough to supply our allowance of bread. We were 
consequently kept until 3 o'clock p.m. before we could 
get served. When the bread was baked it was thrown 
up to the multitude that were waiting, and those who 
could catch a loaf were best off. I and my partners 
got one three -pound loaf between us, which we 
devoured in the street. It was extremely cold and 
we were very hungry, and had then twenty-seven 
miles to go to a town called St. Quentin. 

At this place there is a canal said to have been 
made by Spanish prisoners of war. I was informed 
that 1,500 of them were constantly employed, and that 
unless they worked they were not given an}' meat. 
The canal is very much below the surface of the sur- 



128 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

rounding country, and on one occasion a large piece 
of ground gave way and buried a number of Spaniards 
with some French. Here we were put into a large 
church with many Spaniards, and had four days' bread 
served out, with orders to proceed to the town of Ham, 
fifteen miles from St. Quentin. At this place we were 
put into a stable and had plenty of straw, with per- 
mission to walk about the town ; but we had not much 
desire to see fine things, as we were badly fed and the 
weather was very severe. We were, however, very 
much refreshed from having plenty of straw to lie on, 
and slept well. 

Next morning we were ordered to a town called 
Noyon, and were there billeted on the inhabitants. 
My cousin, John Short, and I had a very good recep- 
tion from an old lady who gave us plenty to eat and 
drink and a good bed at night. Here we saw a hand- 
some little church, and, staying with our good lady 
another day, were well treated. 

We then had orders to go to a town called Compeigne, 
distant eighteen miles. You must observe that we were 
without guards or guides to show us the way. When 
we arrived at this town we were not allowed to stay, 
but were ordered to a village called St. John Aux Bois, 
about six miles farther. It was now coming dark, and 
we had to go through an extensive wood, which they 
said was much invested by wolves. We were about 
thirty in number, including a woman with two children, 
and some sick in a cart. We arrived safely, after a 
journey of about thirty miles, at nine o'clock. We 
were told the wood contained 32,000 acres. 

Calling on the Mayor, he compelled the inhabitants 
to lodge us for the night. I and my partners had a 
dish of milk and bread and a good bed for the night. 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 129 

The people of the village would scarcely believe we 
had crossed the wood at night, as they would not dare 
to do so for fear of the wolves. 

We began our march the next morning very much 
refreshed after our night's rest, being ordered to a 
village called Monteul. We passed through a fine 
town called Crepy, about nine miles from the last 
village. Here we found the people very hospitable, 
but possibly owing to fear, as they were continually 
inquiring about the Cossacks, whom they appeared 
much to dread. We arrived late at night, after march- 
ing eighteen miles in very cold and severe weather. 
On calling upon the Mayor we were billeted as usual 
for the night. 

The next morning we were ordered to Meaux, about 
nine miles distant. When we arrived at this place we 
found my old prison mates from Givet, who were in a 
most deplorable condition, many of them lying ill of 
fever, and one or two dead. We called on the Mayor 
for billets, but he could not supply us, having so many 
already in the town, and ordered us to a village called 
Chaum ; but when we arrived we were no better off, 
being obliged to proceed to another village, three miles 
farther, called Contevroult, which made our day's 
journey twenty-four miles. 

It was dark when we arrived, and we were well 
tired ; but thanks be to Providence we received a good 
billet, supper, a jug of wine, and a bed. 

The next morning, after breakfast, we proceeded to 
Melun, where we could not be billeted, and were 
ordered back to a village called Montereau, being 
four, six, or ten to a billet, and they were obliged 
to find us provisions by an order from Paris only 
about twenty-four miles distant, I and three others 

9 



ijo PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

were located at a farmer's house, where we had good 
rations and a good bed. 

The country people were now obliged to find the 
military, as well as the prisoners, with necessary food 
and lodgings. 

On the following day we were ordered back to 
Melun, and there received from Captain Sir Thomas 
Levi, of H.M. frigate Blanche, thirty sols per man. 

The inhabitants were in great consternation for fear 
of the Cossacks ; they destroyed the centre arch of the 
bridge over the Seine, and had fixed chevaux de /rise 
in all the main roads to retard the enemy. 

February 7, 1814. — About eight o'clock this morning 
our orders were to go to Fontainebleau, but on the road 
the order was countermanded, and we were sent to a 
town called Melly. We believed then that the Allies 
were not far from us. This was a most severe day's 
march. The roads were cut up by the constant traffic 
of waggons, baggage, and troops going over them. 
We were compelled to travel many miles across the 
fields and by-paths, and after having travelled nineteen 
and a half miles we arrived at Tusson, billeted at a 
farm-house, and had good fare. 

February 8. — Ordered this morning to go to a town 
called Pethivers, about fifteen miles ; found the roads 
the same as yesterday, but arrived safely, and had our 
usual billet. 

February 9. — This morning we were ordered to 
Nieuville, about fifteen miles. On arriving we could 
not be billeted, and were obliged to go to a village 
called St. Launt, three and a half miles farther, where 
we got our billet all right, and went to bed well tired. 

February 10. — This morning we were ordered to the 
City of Orleans, and walked a great part of the way 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 131 

through the well-known forest of that name. When 
marching through the streets of the city we made 
them ring by singing English songs. In the great 
square of Orleans we saw erected on a pedestal the 
statue of Jean d'Arc, or the Maid of Orleans. It is 
a large brazen statue. Her attitude seems to depict 
her as making an assault, her left hand supporting 
a flag, and her right hand as if unsheathing a sword. 
We visited the beautiful cathedral, which has never 
been finished. There are some beautiful paintings on 
glass, some in oil colours, and we saw some fine 
wooden figures, also the full figure of a man, in one 
of the seats, lying on his back, with his head nearly 
severed from the body and the blood streaming from 
the wound. I think they told us it was the figure of 
St. Martin. We marched this day twelve miles, got a 
good billet, and went to bed. Next morning we were 
all assembled in the Grande Square at ten o'clock, and 
were reviewed by a number of military officers, and 
were told we should stay in our present quarters for 
the day ; but at four o'clock orders came to send us 
away immediately, and officers were appointed to see 
the work done. We were ordered to a town called 
Baugances, and marched on a very bad road, cut up 
by troops and waggons. The latter part proved much 
better. We arrived at the town greatly fatigued, 
having marched eighteen miles; about 800 prisoners 
in all, for whom they could not find lodgings. I 
induced a landlady to lodge myself and my cousin 
in a stable by paying five sols each. 

February 12. — Early this morning we began our 
march for Blois, and upon our arrival we found 1,500 
British prisoners and a great many officers, both naval 
and military. On entering the town a guard took 



i 3 2 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

possession of our party and conducted us to an old 
stable close to the town jail, and a sentry was placed 
over us for the night to prevent us from going about 
the town. We found the reason for this was that some 
members of a former party had behaved very badly to 
the inhabitants, and a man by the name of MacClagan, 
an Irishman, got run through the back with a sword 
and was put to the hospital. We had marched this 
day twenty-four miles, and were well knocked up. 

February 13. — This morning we began our march 
for Ambroise, passing through a beautiful country of 
vineyards. The town is situated on the left bank of 
the River Loire. Having marched this day thirty 
miles, before starting we had a three-pound loaf from 
the Government — the first for a long time — and fifteen- 
pence per man from the English Committee. Being in- 
formed that the town jail was a horrid place, my cousin 
and I went and hired a bed, for which we paid ten sols 
each. We had purchased two pounds of pork and gave 
it to the mistress to fry, but in so doing she contrived 
to steal one-half; but we were afraid to complain, 
dreading our being sent to the jail for the night. 

February 14. — This morning we started for Tours, in 
Touraine, and after travelling eighteen miles we 
arrived about 4 o'clock p.m., marching through a 
very fine country. Our day's march was chiefly on the 
left bank of the River Loire ; on the right bank are 
some curiously constructed houses, some of them two 
and three stories high. It appears they cut the size of 
the house out of the solid rock, and then build up the 
front ; the chimneys are just level with the field behind 
the houses, which have no roof in sight. The country 
seems to be composed of free stone. We crossed a 
bridge with a great many arches, and were ordered to 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 133 

muster, and to take up our lodgings in stables. Find- 
ing very little straw, we asked the Commandant for 
more, but received a very offensive reply, which was 
to the effect that could he have his will he would de- 
prive us of what we had already, and that we could lie 
on the bare stones, which was good enough for English- 
men. One of my old prison mates found an inscrip- 
tion when on the road with these words inscribed : 

" Immortal honour to the Conqueror of Egypt and Italy, and eternal 
hatred to the English Nation." 

February 16. — This morning we received orders to 
proceed to Riom, nineteen of the party very ill and 
obliged to go to the hospital, the weather being 
very severe. Each man received fifteen sols, three 
pounds of bread, and threepence-halfpenny from a 
Captain Garret, of the East India Service. We 
believe he was an appointed agent from the Com- 
mittee at Verdun. Riom lies 260 miles in a south- 
easterly direction from Tours. Our number now 
amounted to about 800 men. The first town we 
reached was called Cormary, distant fifteen miles, and 
we were again billeted on the inhabitants, having a 
good one for my cousin and myself. He was here 
taken very ill, and I had him put to the hospital, and 
left him there. Next day we came to a town called 
Chatellon, distance twelve miles, billeted as usual. 
The following day we arrived at Buzancais, distant 
fifteen miles, billeted as usual, but very bad fare. 
Next day marched to Chateauroux, distant twelve 
miles, where we received 3s. 2d. to take us three days 
farther ; purchased a small piece of meat and had 
it cooked, and obtained a very good bed. 

The next march took us to a town called Argenton, 



134 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

distant twenty-one miles ; billeted as usual, extremely 
cold weather. The following morning began our march 
for Arguraine, the weather still very severe. The 
people were very poor, but civil ; had a very good bed. 

Next morning started for a place called Gueret, 
distant twenty-one miles, where we received from the 
Commissary 4s. io|d. to take us to Riom. At Gueret 
I called on a gentleman named Ellis, being informed 
that he was appointed to relieve all Englishmen who 
passed that way. After a very severe scrutiny he paid 
us is. 3d. per man. This town is now a receiving 
depot for all British officers, who now numbered 
1,500. We went to our billet, and had a good bed. 
Proceeded again for a town called Chenerailles, 
eighteen miles from Gueret ; called on the Mayor for 
our billet, but had a very ordinary reception and bad 
lodgings. 

Next morning started for Aubusson, distant twelve 
miles. On our arrival we called on the Mayor for our 
billet, but on reaching the house could gain no admit- 
tance, so went again to the Mayor, and had a new 
billet. We went into the town to purchase something 
to eat, and when we came back the door of the house 
was locked, and we could gain no admittance. After 
staying in the street for some time, one of the inhabi- 
tants saw our condition, and requested us to obtain 
a billet for his house, and here we had supper and 
a good bed. 

The following morning started for a town called 
St. Avet, distant eighteen miles. The country was 
barren, and the inhabitants seemed very poor. We 
called on the Mayor, whom we found thatching a 
house ; received a mean billet, and very ordinary 
bread, chiefly composed of rye. Here they make 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 135 

their loaves very large, I should think forty or fifty 
pounds. Left next morning for Pougibeau, distant 
ten miles ; arrived in good time, had our billet as usual, 
and went to bed well tired. 

March 1, 18 14. — We arrived at Riom after a very 
severe day's march, and experiencing many snow- 
storms, which blocked the roads, so that we had great 
difficulty in keeping the beaten path. We were put 
into a monastery with about 1,000 others, and half 
a mile from us there was a nunnery, where they put 
400 more, chiefly old men and boys. We had the 
liberty of the town all day, but were locked up at 
night, but with no guards over us. The Government 
found our daily rations, and the inhabitants bed and 
bedding. This town is situated in a splendid valley, 
surrounded by a chain of mountains, which includes 
the town of Claremont, near to which stands a beauti- 
ful mountain in the form of a sugar-loaf, very high, but 
not large at the base. In this valley everything that 
the heart can wish is in abundance, the sides of the 
mountains are covered with vineyards, and the valley 
or plain is full of fruit-trees of all descriptions. The 
price of — 



Wine 
Apples 


3d. per quart. 
12 for f d. 


Brandy 

Bread 

Beef 


6d. per quart. 
i|d. per pound. 
2|d. per pound. 



And frogs innumerable, brought to market every day 
alive in long baskets, carried by the women on their 
backs, as the women of Newlyn carry their fish to the 
Penzance market. The frogs are prepared for sale 
in the following manner : First taken out of the basket 
one at a time by the women ; then, with a pair of 



136 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

scissors, they cut off the two hind-legs from the body; 
then strip off the skin over the feet, and cut off that 
with the feet. When that is done they are strung on 
a string for sale, being sold for threehalfpence per 
hundred, when they resemble two legs of a bird. 
There are proper nurseries for the frogs in the rivulets 
of the plain, the spawn is taken up wherever they find 
it, and is carried to the preserves. The fishing for frogs 
is with hook and line, like fishing for trout. 

The town of Riom is beautifully laid out, the streets 
are all at right angles, and at every corner there are 
shoots or fountains of water. 

After being here four or five weeks, we were alarmed 
one night at the noise in the town, and we could not 
imagine the cause. At length someone came to the 
monastery and liberated us, and you may be sure we 
were not long in joining the dance. Of all sights, this 
was one I shall never forget. The town was illuminated, 
and every sign that had the appearance of Bonaparte 
on it was torn down, and the white cockade placed 
in every hat or bonnet. A general dance took place 
through the town, and everyone tried to catch an 
Englishman for a partner. We were informed that 
Napoleon had abdicated the throne, and that a general 
peace had been proclaimed. After a jovial night we 
retired to bed ; but you may be sure we did not sleep, 
being in hopes to be soon on our way to England. 

Next day every one prepared for the march ; but, 
to our great mortification, countermanding orders 
arrived — the news we had received was not true. 
Orders then came to march us to a place called St. 
Fleurs, which they said was nineteen days' journey, 
towards the Mediterranean. We found that the 
Austrians were within eight or nine miles from us, 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 137 

so we had to make a circuitous route to avoid them. 
Although the weather was quite warm in this beautiful 
valley, the mountains were covered with snow. When 
our orders came to march, I said to my comrades, " I 
shall not go with the party ;" and / tore my blanket in 
two pieces and wrapped one half round my body, and 
I found it a very great comfort indeed during the 
remainder of our march. Eight of us agreed to leave 
the party and do our best to reach the Austrian army, 
and we then took to the mountains. 

After walking ten or twelve miles, we halted on the 
side of a mountain for the night, and we saw the lights 
in the Austrian camp. Shortly afterwards we were 
discovered by a French picket, and, after demanding 
who we were and where we came from, he told us he 
was a German in the French service, that there was 
a river between the French and the Austrian army, 
and that we should be in great danger if we attempted 
to cross the river, and if found by the French we 
should be regarded as spies. He said further: "We 
shall risk a battle here to-morrow, and if beaten we 
shall go against Lord Wellington, when, if I find an 
opportunity, I shall join him." 

We accordingly stayed there all night, and in the 
morning we saw the French army retreating without 
risking a battle ; so we took the soldier's advice, and, 
as soon as the French army got ahead of us, we fol- 
lowed into the village, and demanded of the Mayor 
our billet, for we were very hungry and tired ; but we 
could get neither billet nor bread on account of the 
troops. We gave a woman one sol each to sleep in 
her stable, and the next day went to the Mayor again, 
but received the same reply as before. He told us he 
would give us a letter to the Mayor of the next town, 



138 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

but gave it no name. That letter, however, enabled 
us to draw rations and a billet until we arrived at 
Gueret, the depot of the English officers. 

April 14. — To-day we fell in with 1,800 Russian 
prisoners, and on the 16th of April we set off for 
Gueret. At the first stream of water we came to we 
sat down and had a good meal from a piece of corned 
beef given us by an English gentleman living at the 
village, which was the first mouthful of beef I have 
taken since the 24th of January. 

After reaching the town of Gueret, we were ordered 
to a farm-house one mile on the road, slept in the barn, 
and remained here next day. We went into the town, 
saw the Commissary, and received our regular allow- 
ance, staying here the next day. 

On the 19th the town was illuminated, and the 
inhabitants were in great glee. A large party of 
prisoners arrived on their way to Bordeaux, and our 
small party were attached to them. 

April 20. — This day every man received from the 
Rev. Mr. Gordon the sum of 6s. 8d. to put us to 
Bordeaux, which is thirteen days' march, or 231 miles. 
We also received an allowance of bread from the 
French, and marched away in first-rate spirits, although 
it was a very rainy day, and we were well soaked. 

After marching twenty-one miles we got in late at 
night to the town of Bourgeneuf, were pretty well 
lodged, but they would not dry our clothes. 

April 21. — To-day we had to put on our wet clothes 
and set off for a town called St. Leonard. Refreshed 
at the half-way house, wine and bread very good and 
cheap. I and a few others arrived early ; but the 
Mayor would not give us billets until the whole party 
arrived, although it rained hearty all the day. At a 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 139 

late hour we got our billet and went to bed in good 
spirits, hoping soon to see a Red Coat. 

April 22. — This morning we began our march for 
the town of Lamoge, which is twelve miles from the 
last place. Here we saw the Bourbon flag flying on 
all the principal edifices and churches. We made the 
usual call on the Mayor for our billets. My cousin 
and I were sent to a baker's ; he well supplied us with 
bread, cheese and wine, and a good bed. 

Saturday, April 23. — This morning we started very 
early in order to make a good day's march, when we 
arrived at Challons. We called on the Mayor for our 
travelling money from the French. We received our 
allowance of bread, but could get no money, the Mayor 
telling us that no person would advance any money 
even to pay their own soldiers. We had then walked 
twenty-four miles. Going into a wine-house we had 
a good breakfast ; bread very cheap, wine fourpence 
the litre or quart, and then continued our march until 
we arrived at Tivers, twenty-one miles farther, making 
this day's journey forty-five miles. We had our billets 
as usual, and went to bed well tired. 

April 24. — Sunday morning we could not lie by for 
the day, being anxious to get out of the country, so 
began our march early, and after travelling twenty- 
four miles arrived at the town of Perigueux about 
noon. Here we purchased a leg of pork, nine pounds, 
for 2s. id., had some bread and wine, and were well 
refreshed. Then we continued our march for St. Jean 
d'Eau. Being very tired, we halted for the night, called 
on the Mayor, got a good billet, had supper, and 
went to bed, having marched eighty-four miles in 
two days. 

April 25. — We left our lodgings early this morning, 



140 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

and after travelling six miles we came to a town called 
Mucidan, when we thought it too great a task to walk 
two stages in one day ; so, after going nine miles 
farther, we came to Montpont, where we had some 
refreshment and continued our journey, arriving at 
length at a village named A la Rue, fifteen miles from 
the last town, making our day's march thirty miles, 
got billeted, and lodged in an uninhabited house. In 
the last three days we had marched 114 miles. 

April 26. — We set off this morning with our hearts 
full of glee, knowing we were soon to be released from 
slavery. We had far out-walked the whole party. 
After travelling twelve miles we arrived at Le Bourne, 
when, on entering the town, we were conducted by 
guards to the Commissary, and from thence to the 
soldiers' barracks, there to stop until the next morning, 
the reason being that there were French troops 
stationed between that town and Bordeaux, and they 
would not allow us to pass without an order from the 
Commissary. This annoyed us very much, as w r e 
intended to reach Bordeaux that night ; the inhabitants 
were much concerned about it, as they feared the war 
was not 3-et over. We had our rations of beef and 
bread served us, and were paid ftve sols each for our 
bed. Here we found thirty more Englishmen from 
other detachments. 

April 27. — This morning we assembled at the Com- 
missary's house to get our passports for Bordeaux. 
We waited some time between hope and fear, well 
knowing the uncertainty of a Frenchman's word of 
honour. At length the joyful shout was raised, 
" Liberty ! Liberty !" We had not gone more than 
three miles before we met the French picket, and 
were interrogated by the officer, to whom we showed 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 141 

our pass, and were allowed to go on our march. 
Eight hundred Spanish prisoners left the town the 
same time as we did for Bayonne. After marching- 
one league more, we were stopped by another French 
guard. Having now arrived at the River Dordogne, 
we crossed in a ferry-boat, but no fee was demanded. 
We then began to be in high spirits, expecting every 
moment to see a Red Coat, as we knew that Lord 
Wellington was at Bordeaux. We had not gone far 
before we met two English Dragoon officers, who 
gave us a hearty welcome, and congratulated us on 
our happy release from ten years' captivity. We told 
them to cut up the gendarmes, as they had been our 
greatest enemies. They told us they had done so a 
few days before, and had driven a great many of them 
into the river. We soon saw some English soldiers 
posted near a village. They looked greatly fatigued, 
and their clothes shabby after their long campaign in 
Spain. 

At length we arrived on the bank of the River 
Garonne, opposite the City of Bordeaux, and were 
then conveyed across by a ferry-boat, again without 
paying a fee. When we got into the city we found it 
occupied with English troops, the citizens being as 
much pleased at what had transpired as ourselves, and 
showed us every kindness. We called on the Mayor, 
and were billeted two in a house, my cousin and I 
being billeted on an old lady in a very grand house — I 
think it was five stories high. She provided a good 
supper, but we were not able to eat much, having 
previously on our arrival met a few comrades at a 
wine-house, and had a good supper and enjoyed our- 
selves with them, all hoping soon to see our native 
land. 



i 4 2 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

April 28. — We called on the English Commissary and 
received orders for one and a half pounds of bread and 
one pound of beef per man ; went to the slaughter- 
house for our beef, but were served very scandalously 
by the English soldiers, for, although the meat was of 
excellent quality, they would give us nothing but 
scraps, neither would they lend us a knife or cleaver 
to divide it. Had we been more in number we should 
have shown fight, but being outnumbered were obliged 
to bear with the insult. 

About midday forty of us were put on board a small 
sloop and sent down the river eighteen miles ; the 
ebb tide being done, we anchored for the night. In 
the morning before day we weighed anchor and sailed 
down the river until we arrived at Pauliac, where we 
found several transports, and were put on board the 
Dartmouth, being served with full allowance of bread 
and beef. 

April 30. — At anchor at Pauliac, put on allowance 
six upon four, like the Marines when on ship-board. 
We made our complaint to a Lieutenant of H.M. 
frigate Belle Poule, who communicated with Admiral 
Penrose, who had his flag hoisted on board H.M. 
sloop Porcupine. 

May 1. — All the Dartmouth's people were drafted to 
the Lord Wellington, about 350 in all, with orders from 
the Admiral to give us full allowance. 

Monday, May 2. — Weighed anchor from Pauliac 
sailed down the river, and brought up a few miles 
from the mouth of the river. 

May 3. — Drafted again this day from the Lord 
Wellington on board the Suffolk transport, making our 
number on board 390. To-day a boat from H.M. 
cutter-brig Challenger came to enter men to serve on 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 143 

the coast of America. Several men enlisted for that 
service. They were not allowed to force us into the 
naval service by an Act of Parliament. 

May 4. — Weighed anchor to-day, seven transports, 
with about 1,500 released prisoners on board, under 
convoy of H.M. Brig Martial, fine breeze, wind S.E. 
by S., bound to Plymouth. 

May 9. — Looking out hard and sharp for land, at 
2.30 p.m. saw the land right ahead. Wind now S.E. by 
E. on our starboard tack. We fetched in about Mouse- 
hole Island in Mount's Bay ; one of the officers on the 
quarter-deck hail'd a boat to come alongside for him. 
In doing so several of the men, including my cousin, 
John Short, and my constant companion, Henry Blight, 
jumped in also, and were conveyed on shore ; but our 
Captain would not let anyone leave the ship, as his 
orders were to put us to Plymouth. We tack'd ship 
and fetch'd St. Michael's Mount. We then took 
possession of the ship and let go the anchor. The 
officers did not attempt to stop us. In the night a 
boat came alongside to inquire if any of their friends 
were on board. I and a few more soon got into the 
boat, as we had not much luggage. W T e were landed 
on Marazion Beach, and from there conducted to the 
nearest public-house, and treated like lords. As soon 
as I had taken what was needful for the journey I 
started for my dear home, and reached St. Ives about 
one o'clock in the morning on the 10th day of May, 1814; 
to my great joy found my dear old mother alive and 
well. You may well conjecture the joy she manifested 
at seeing her only son, who had been absent from her 
ten years and five months. 

In taking a retrospective view of the many and 
dangerous scenes I have passed through in an enemy's 



i 4 4 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

country, I have great reason to thank the Almighty for 
His watchful care over me, for having brought me safely 
through the various vicissitudes, calamities, difficulties, 
and distresses to which I have been exposed during 
my adventures ; and after having travelled upwards of 
3,000 miles in chains, lodged in dungeons, and very 
frequently suffered hunger and thirst, badly clothed, 
many times without shoes, and having to march in 
severe weather for more than twenty miles per day 
in the midst of winter, and yet, notwithstanding my 
unworthiness, the Almighty supported me and brought 
me safe again to my native land in health and strength, 
both in body and mind, for which I give Him all the 
praise and all the glory. 



COPY OF THE ORIGINAL CONDEMNATION 

AND PARDON OF THOMAS WILLIAMS 

AND HIS COMPANIONS 

Judgment rendered by the Military Commission 
formed at Givet in execution of the Imperial Decree 
of the 17th of Frimaire in the 14th year of the 
Republic. 

For and by the Emperor of the French, King of 
Italy, Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine, 
Mediator of the Swiss Confederation, etc., etc. 

This sixteenth day of March, one thousand eight 
hundred and eleven. The Military Commission 
formed by virtue of the Imperial Decree of the 
17th of Frimaire in the 14th year composed con- 
formably to this Decree of Messieurs — 

Fonton, Chief of the Battalion, sous Director of 
Artillery, Member of the Legion of Honour, 
President. 

Hubert, Captain of the 34th Regiment of Infantry, 
Member of the Legion of Honour. 

Peyren, Captain of the 34th Regiment of Infantry, 
and Member of the Legion of Honour. 

Navarre, Captain of the 34th Regiment of Infantry ; 
and Sainton, Captain quartermaster of 34th Regi- 
ment of Infantry, Member of the Legion of Honour. 

M. Dontor, Member of the Legion of Honour, 
Lieutenant of the Imperial Gendarmerie of the De- 
partment of Mont Tonnerre, doing the functions of 

145 10 



i 4 6 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

Reporter and Imperial Procurer. All nominated by 
Monsieur Lascoste, General of the Division, one of 
the Commanders of the Legion of Honour, Command- 
ing in Chief the Second Military Territorial Division ; 
assisted by Gamant, Horse Brigadier of the Imperial 
Gendarmerie of the Department of the Ardennes, 
Register appointed by the Reporter; and Howlet, 
Prisoner of War, who was sworn to accomplish his 
charge faithfully. 

The above mentioned, according to the terms of the 
7th and 8th Articles of the Law of the 13th Brumaire, 
in the 3rd 3 r ear of the Republic, are not related nor 
allied neither of them nor prevented in the Decree 
prohibited by the Constitution. 

The Commission convocated by the order of Mon- 
sieur Ledee, General of Brigade, Officer of the Legion 
of Honour, Commander at Arms of the places of 
Charlemount and Givet, assembled in the grand hall 
of the hotel of these towns, in order to judge — 

1st. Henry Blight, aged 30 years, gunner of the 
Recovery privateer, native of Ludgvan, County of 
Cornwall, in England, 1 metre, 71 centimetres high, 
light brown hair and eyebrows, blue eyes, full 
coloured face, ordinary nose and chin, middling 
mouth. 

2nd. Thomas Williams, aged 24 years, appren- 
tice on board the merchant ship Friendship, a native 
of St. Ives, County of Cornwall, England, 1 metre, 
62 centimetres high, hair and eyebrows chesnut 
colour, full coloured face, lightly marked with the 
smallpox, slight nose, dimpled chin, and middling 
mouth. 

3rd. Robert Burn, aged 19 years, apprentice on 
board of the merchant ship Blenheim, a native of 
Beverley, in Yorkshire, England, 1 metre 69 centi- 
metres high, hair and eyebrows dark brown, blue 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 147 

eyes, full coloured face, slightly marked with 
the smallpox, pointed nose, round chin, middling 
mouth. 

All three prisoners of war, detained in the depot of 
Givet. 

The Sessions being opened, the president causes 
to be brought and placed before him by the Register 
on the Bureau, an exemplary of the Laws of the 9th 
of Prairial, in the 3rd year, and of the 13th of Brumaire, 
in the 5th year, and of the Imperial Decree of the 17th 
of Frimaire, in the 14th year, and afterwards demanded 
of the Reporter the Lecture of the Report of the verbal 
process of Information and generally all the people 
as well for the defence of as against the accused to 
the number of five. 

This lecture being finished, the president ordered the 
guards to bring forth the prisoners, who were intro- 
duced free and without irons before the Commission. 
The accused persons on being asked their names, 
age, profession, place of birth and rank, answered — 

1 st. Henry Blight, aged 30 years, gunner, native of 
Ludgvan, County of Cornwall, in England, prisoner 
of war of the depot of Givet. 2nd. Thomas Williams, 
aged 24 years, apprentice, native of St. Ives, County 
of Cornwall, in England, prisoner of war of the depot 
of Givet. 3rd. Robert Burn, aged 19 years, apprentice, 
native of Beverley, in Yorkshire, England, prisoner of 
war of the depot of Givet. 

After having made known to accused the facts 
laid to their charge, and caused them to be interro- 
gated separately by the organ of the President, who 
heard the Reporter in his report and conclusions, and 
the accused in the means of their defence as well by 
those as by their official defender, who, having declared 
that they had nothing more to add in their defence, 
then the President asked the members of the Com- 



148 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

mission if they had any observations to make, to 
which they answered in the negative, and before he 
called the votes, ordered the defender and the accused 
to retire. The latter were reconducted by their 
escort to the town prison. The Register and the 
citizens withdrew at the request of the President, the 
doors being shut, and no one present with the Military 
Commission but the Reporter and Imperial Procurer. 
The President stated the following questions : 

i st. Henry Blight, as above mentioned, accused of 
having deserted. Is he guilty ? 

2nd. Thomas Williams, as above mentioned, accused 
of having deserted. Is he guilty ? 

3rd. Robert Burn, as above mentioned, accused of 
having deserted. Is he guilty ? 

The votes having been gathered by beginning with 
the inferior in and the youngest in each rank, the 
President giving his last, the Military Commission 
unanimously declared that Henry Blight is guilty, 
and by the majority of 5 voices to 4 that Thomas 
Williams and Robert Burn are guilty ; on which the 
Reporter and Imperial Procurer made their request 
for the application of the penalty. 

The votes, gathered again by the President in the 
same form as above, the sentence was made public. 
The Register retook his seat. The President pro- 
nounced publicly and with a loud voice the following- 
judgment. — The Military Commission, doing justice to 
the request of the Reporter and Imperial Procurer, 
unanimously condemns Henry Blight, and by a 
majority of 5 voices to 4. Thomas Williams and 
Robert Burn, prisoners of war, of the depot of Givet, 
to suffer six years in irons, and to reimburse all the 
expenses of the trial, according to the 1st article of the 
Law of the 9th Prairial, in the 3rd year, and to the 
Ministerial Letter of the 14th of Jul} 7 , 1807. 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 149 

Thus : Law of the 9th of Prairial, 3rd year, 1st 
Article, Any individual made prisoner of war by the 
armies of the Republic, or detained as such who with- 
out permission from Government shall quit his place 
of detention or residence, shall suffer six years in irons. 

Ministerial Letter of 14.TH July, 1807 

Every judgment of a Military Commission or of a 
Permanent Council of War, condemning any person 
whatever, shall pronounce at the same time that the 
person condemned shall reimburse to the profit of the 
public treasure all the expenses of his trial and con- 
demnation. It is likewise ordered that 100 copies of 
this present judgment shall be printed and distributed. 
The Reporter is to read the present judgment to the 
condemned persons in presence of the guard as- 
sembled under arms, and to put it in execution imme- 
diately. 

It is likewise ordered that according to the 39th 
article of the 13th of Brumaire, in the 5th year, by the 
President and Reporter, a copy of the present judg- 
ment should be sent to his Excellence the Minister 
of War, and another to the General of the Division. 
Done closed and judged at the same sitting in Public 
Session at Givet. the same day, month, and year, as 
above, and the members of the Commission, with the 
Reporter and Register have minuted the present 
Judgment. 

(Signed) Navarre, Sainton, Peyren, 
Habert, Fonton, President ; 
Dontor, Reporter ; Gamant, 
Register. 

And the same day the present judgment has been 
read to the condemned persons in the presence of 
the guard by the Reporter. 

(Signed) Dontor. 



i 5 o PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

By a copy confirmed the Register of Military Com- 
mission, Gamant; and the Reporter of the Military 
Commission, Dontor. 



COPY OF THE ORIGINAL REPRIEVE GRANTED 

TO THOMAS WILLIAMS BY NAPOLEON, 

EMPEROR OF THE FRENCH 

Napoleon, by the Grace of God and the Constitutions 
of the Empire, Emperor of the French, King of Italy, 
Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine, Mediator 
of the Swiss Confederation, etc., etc., etc. 

To the first president, presidents, and counsellors, 
composing our Imperial Court at Grenoble. — We have 
received the demand which was made to us in the 
name of Thomas Williams, English seaman, prisoner 
of war, condemned by a Military Court Martial, sitting 
at Givet, dated 16th March, 1811, to the punishment of 
six years in irons, for having eloped from the depot of 
Givet, detained at Briancon, in order to obtain our 
pardon, and having observed that divers circumstances 
might incline us to make him sensible of the effects of 
our clemency, we have reunited in a Privy Council, in 
our Palace at St. Cloud, the 4th of August, 181 1, our 
Cousin, the Prince Arch-Chancellor of the Empire, the 
Prince Chief of the Departments beyond the Alps, our 
Cousins, Prince Vice-Elector, Prince Vice-Constable; 
the Duke of Massa, Great Judge Minister of Justice, 
and Feltre, Minister of War; Count Dacres, Minister 
of Marines ; the Count of Lacepede, Minister of State, 
President of the Senate ; Count Boulay, President of 
the Legislative Body; and Deformon, Minister of 
State, President of the Section of Finances ; Count 
Gamier, Senator, the Counsellors of State ; Count 



THOMAS WILLIAMS 151 

Muriare, First President of the Court of Abrogation ; 
Count Merlin, Counsellor of State ; our Chief Solicitor 
in the same Court; and after having heard the Duke 
of Massa's report and the advice of the other members 
of the Council, everything seen and examined, choosing 
to prefer mercy to the rigour of the law, we have de- 
clared and do declare to forgive the said Thomas 
Williams, fully and entirely. 

We command and order that these presents, sealed 
with the seal of the Empire, be presented to you, 
by our Chief Solicitor, in the said Court, in public 
audience, where the offender will be conducted to 
hear it read, standing, and his head uncovered, in 
presence of the officers commanding the gendarmerie 
at Grenoble ; that the said presents be afterwards 
transcribed on your registers, by the request of the 
same solicitor, with the annotation of this margin from 
the minute of pronouncing his condemnation. 

Given in our Palace of the Tuileries, under the 
Seal of the Empire, on the fifteenth day of August, in 
the year one thousand eight hundred and eleven. 

(Signed) Napoleon. 

Seen by us Arch-Chancellors of the 
Empire. * * * * 

By the Emperor, 

The Minister Secretary of State. 



The Great Judge Minister of Justice, 
Le Due de Massa. 



EXTRACTS FROM THE DIARY OF 
JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 

OF ST. IVES, CORNWALL 
l8l7 I872 

February 8, 1817. — The Northern Lights appeared. 

March 11. — The brig Mary, Bawden master, went 
on shore in Bassett's Bay ; crew saved. 

March 26. — Went to St. Michael's Mount to purchase 
corn for the Women's Club, but could not get any. 

June 25. — Eight men drawn for the Cornish Militia 
— viz., J. Penberthy, J. Jennings, Mr. C. Trewhella, 
T. Rowe, J. Humphries, Henry Major, Bellman, and 
another. 

July 19. — Six others drawn into the Militia (six out 
of the eight having been exempted on divers grounds) 
— viz., Mr. John Bazeley, Lander, Sisely, Jennings, 
Richard Kernick, and Joseph Allen. 

December 17. — A North Welsh sloop, laden with 
butter, went on shore near the Gurnard's Head; crew 
and part cargo saved, the latter by the St. Ives gigs. 

December 28. — A tremendous gale of wind from 
N.N.W. Came on shore on the Western Spits 
the brig Elizabeth, Evan Jones master, from Cork, 
laden with provisions ; crew, cargo, and vessel saved. 
April 11, 181S. — Wind about N.N.W. ; a strong 
gale. Went on shore on the Western Spits the 

IC2 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 153 

sloop Kitty, Francis Sincock master, laden with 
provisions, from Limerick for London ; the schooner 
Mary Ann, of Rochester, Brown master, from Cadiz, 
with wine ; and the French brig La France, of Nantz, 
laden with wine, soap, etc., from Marseilles, bound to 
Havre de Grace : crews saved. The French brig was 
got off, but the others were condemned on the beach, 
and sold for the benefit of the underwriters at Lloyds. 

March 9, 18 19. — Deserted at night from the brig 
Argus, of Sunderland, lying under quarantine in the 
Bay, a boy who had robbed the Captain of £60. He 
was pursued and captured at St. Erth, brought back, 
and sent on board the vessel. 

July 4. — A comet appeared. 

November 17. — An address was sent to His Majesty 
from St. Ives in consequence of Mr. Hunt's party 
raising fermentations in the kingdom concerning 
Universal Suffrage. The collector and his clerk 
called to know whether I would sign the requisi- 
tion. Answered " No !" and was called a rebel for 
refusing. 

November 21. — Wind N.N.W. Sloop Nancy, of 
Bridgwater, came into the Roads. Paid £35 pilotage. 

November 23. — The day appointed for Parliament to 
assemble. 

December 13. — Sailed the brig Nancy, of Aberdeen. 
Paid pilotage £7$. 

The brig True Briton, sailed from Swansea on 
December 6, is supposed to have foundered with all 
hands : James Thomas master (who leaves a wife and 
five children), Thomas Pearce, John Curnow's two 
sons, and young Cothey. 

December 19. — Arrived the schooner Polmanter, 
George Williams master, from Lisbon, with fruit. 



154 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

December 10. — Arrived from Smyrna, in the Medi- 
terranean, a schooner laden with wool and currants. 

December 29. — The smack Charlotte, of Padstow, 
Harden master, from Padstow for Llanelly, laden 
with barley and malt, came into port in a sinking 
state. 

January 20, 1820. — The bottom of a vessel was ob- 
served about four miles from the land. The gigs 
went to the wreck, which proved to be the Riga Packet, 
of London, from the West Indies. Nothing has been 
heard of the crew. 

January 21. — The smack Georges, Thomas Sincock 
master, was lost near Llanelly ; crew saved. 

January 22. — Came into port a schooner-brig be- 
longing to Liverpool, from Halifax, in America, with 
a cargo of seal-skins and oil, having lost a young man 
overboard last night in a heavy gale from W.S.W. 

January 23. — Arrived the brig Favourite, of Liverpool, 
from Trinidad, after a passage of eleven weeks. Ship 
very leaky, all her ground tier of sugar pumped up, 
sails split in pieces, three men lost overboard, and 
Captain sick in his cabin. Out of water and bread 
three days before making Scilly, where four Scilly 
pilots were taken on board. 

January 25. — Captain of the brig Favourite died. 

January 26. — Three puncheons of rum landed, sup- 
posed part of the cargo of the Riga Packet. 

January 31. — Arrived the American brig Bliss, of 
New Orleans, from Alexandria, Virginia, laden with 
tobacco for London. Thirty-four days on passage, 
and very leaky. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 155 

Death of King George III. 

February 2, 1820. — This morning was received the 
melancholy news of the death of our much beloved 
and lamented Sovereign George III., who departed 
this transitory life on the 29th day of January.* 

February 12. — George, Prince of Wales, was pro- 
claimed King of the United Kingdom at St. Ives this 
morning by the Mayor and Aldermen. 

An Election 

February 28, 1820. — Sir Walter Stirling and Samuel 
Stephens, Esq., canvassed the town. 

February 29. — Mr. Lyndon Evelyn canvassed the 
town for himself and friend, Mr. Graham. 

March 1. — Messrs. Graham and Evelyn canvassed 
the country with great success. 

March 5. — Sunday the writs were read publicly 
through the town for the choosing of two repre- 
sentatives for this borough. 

March 6. — Colonel Meade canvassed the town, 
Samuel Stephens, Esq., having previously given up 
the contest. 

March 10. — The poll commenced at 10 a.m. in the 
Guildhall. The candidates were as follows : J. R. G. 
Graham, Lyndon Evelyn, Sir Walter Stirling, and an 
Irishman by the name of Meade. The poll closed in the 
afternoon of the same day: Graham, 205; Evelyn, 160; 
Stirling, 146 ; Meade, 89. Total votes, 6oo.t 

* The news was, therefore, four to five days in reaching St. Ives. 

+ Mr. Graham (afterwards Sir James) was a Whig, and Mr. Evelyn 
a Tory. Sir Walter Stirling, who was returned for St. Ives in 1807 
(with Mr. Samuel Stephens, of Tregenna), has been handed down 
to fame by Mr. Tregellas in his amusing Cornish tale of " Rozzy Paul 
and Zacky Martin." 



156 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

March 12. — Graham and Evelyn quitted St. Ives for 
London. 

An Election Petition 

March 22, 1820. — Several persons subpcened to go to 
Launceston to swear bribery against the two elected 
Members, Messrs. Graham and Evelyn. 

March 27. — According to their evidence, the jury 
found indictments against the two elected Members. 

The evidences returned from Launceston, having 
sworn against Graham and Evelyn. 

The effigy of Tom Tuckett was publicly exhibited 
through the town, and then taken on the sand by a 
numerous company, and burnt before his own door. 

April 21. — Placards and caricatures posted against 
some of the false swearers. 

April 26. — This evening the account came that 
recognizances had been entered into to bring the 
newly-elected Members to trial, by a most villainous 
and perjured crew, to get them turned from Parlia- 
ment. 

May 28. — Mr. Halse went to London. 

June 4. — A great number subpcened to go to London, 
to appear before the Members of the House of 
Commons, against Graham and Evelyn. 

June 22. — The evidences for Mr. Halse* arrived 
from London, and before their departure the two 
members, Graham and Evelyn, were declared by a 
Committee of the House of Commons duly elected, 
and that gross and infamous perjury was pronounced 
against an Irishman, named George Patrick Dunn. 

June 25. — The Mayor came home from London. 

August 7. — A great number of persons of the baser 

* Mr. Halse was Town Clerk, and solicitor for the two Members. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 157 

sort subpoened to Bodmin Assizes, to swear against 
Mr. James Halse concerning the last election. 

August 11. — The before-mentioned people arrived 
from Bodmin, and it's reported that a bill has been 
found against Mr. Halse. 



Cornish Wrestling 

July 24, 1820. — A grand wrestling-match on Long- 
stone Downs ; James Halse, Esq., and other gentle- 
men, contributed to the same. 

July 25. — The wrestling ended at a late hour in the 
evening : the St. Just men carried the day. 

August 24. — Our much-injured and disconsolate 
Queen Caroline now under trial. 

September 18. — Captain Richards, of Padstow, lost 
his vessel going into Bassett's Cove. 

October 3. — Two boats shot on the drift for the first 
time : one 200 and the other 1,000. 

October 8. — A large shoal of playing-fish seen. 

October 10. — Mr. Roger Wearne's Concern shot a 
seyne at Carrack Gladden. Drift-boats at night from 
5,000 to 8,000 pilchards. 

October 11. — Captain Tremearne caught one boat- 
load of herrings. 

October 19. — The Universal Club met this evening, 
and decided to break up the Club and share the money. 

October 22. — A tremendous gale from W.N.W. The 
Champion, of Wales, James Kempthorne master, came 
in with loss of mainsail, etc. 

October 27. — Tremendous gales since the 19th. The 
John, of Exmouth, was lost on the 22nd at Padstow, 
with all hands. 

November 11. — Very little herrings. 



158 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

November 13. — Mr. Carne, Church Minister, formed 
a Church Missionary Society. 

November 22. — The public illumination, in honour of 
our unfortunate Queen Caroline, took place at St. Ives 
at seven o'clock in the evening. 

November 27. — The second anniversary of the 
Methodist Missionary Society. 

December 3. — The sloop Margham, Emanuel Trick 
master, sailed from Hayle with copper ore for 
Aberavon, in company with his brother in another 
vessel. The latter took the former in tow, and about 
midnight, to the astonishment of the crew, the 
Margham disappeared, the other having just time to 
cut the tow-rope. 

December 6. — The brig Isabella, of Sunderland, 
Shanks master, from Teneriffe, laden with marble 
and wine, bound to Cowes for orders, came into 
port. 

December 18. — The Eleanor, of Penzance, came into 
this port and landed the crew of the brig Fairy, of 
Penzance, which vessel foundered at sea on the 
15th inst. 

December 21. — The pilot-boat Globe spoke a French 
ship from the West Indies, bound to Havre de Grace, 
she having mistaken this land for the French coast. 

The new pilot-boat Dolphin was launched this day. 

January 8, 1821. — The Globe pilot-boat brought into 
port a French chassemaree, named the Hope, from 
Nantes, bound to Brest, laden with a general cargo, 
having lost one man overboard, her compass rendered 
useless, and five days without candles, her hull very 
much injured, cargo damaged, and obliged to be 
landed. 
January 11. — Brought into port the Alexander, 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 159 

French cutter, laden with wine and fruit, from Oporto, 
bound to Havre de Grace ; cargo damaged and landed. 
They mistook this land for the land about Havre. 

January 18. — Sailed the Isabella, of Sunderland, for 
London. 

January 21. — The Globe pilot-boat brought in five 
casks of French wine. 

January 22. — The boats landed twenty-three casks of 
wine, supposed from a vessel wrecked on or near the 
Wolf Rock. 

Captain Joseph Hocking, jun., in the smack Prince 
Edward, sailed from Swansea for Youghal on Decem- 
ber 14, and has not been heard of since ; supposed to 
have foundered at sea. 

January 30. — Sir Christopher Hawkins's limekilns 
lighted for the first time, and cracked in several 
directions. 

February 5. — Report was given by the master of a 
schooner from Ireland that he saw a sloop which 
disappeared about four leagues from St. Ann's Head, 
supposed Prince Edward. 

February 8. — Dolphin and Globe pilot-boats ran on 
board each other when in chase. 

February 9. — The crew of the Globe called to court 
on the proceedings before-named. 

The schooner Dolphin, from Waterford, began to 
discharge her cargo of wheat and butter, having made 
a great quantity of water. 

February 19. — The crew of the Globe received the 
salvage from the French ship LEsperance, £85, settled 
by the justices. 

February 21. — A comet appeared. 

March 8. — The brig Fame, of Sunderland, from 
Madeira for London, laden with wine, came to an 



i6o PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

anchor in the Roads, and landed some passengers and 
a number of letters. 

March 12.— The brig Fame came into port, after 
trying for three days to beat round the land. 

March 21. — The Catholic Emancipation Bill was 
passed in the House of Commons for the second time ; 
majority 11. — From the True Briton of the 17th. 

The Late Election 

March 23, 1821. — A great number of persons sub- 
poenaed to Launceston against James Halse, Esq., on 
account of the last election, under pretence of trying 
him as an agent for Messrs. Graham and Evelyn. 

From the True Briton : 

" Mr. Douglas moved in the House of Commons that 
the Clerk of the St. Ives Election should attend at the 
ensuing Cornwall Assizes with the poll-book, to 
answer an indictment against him for bribery : 
ordered." 

March 30. — Some of the evidences returned from 
Launceston. J. Halse, Esq., was declared by the jury 
to be innocent, although so many scandalous, lying, 
and infamous characters there appeared against him. 

March 31. — Mr. Halse came into town, escorted by a 
great concourse of people. 

April 9. — A large fish brought into Porthgwidden, 
measuring 21 feet in length, from which they have 
taken blubber sufficient to produce sixty-four gallons 
of oil. 

April 27. — Mr. Francis Ley was found drowned in 
the well. 

April 30. — The brig Birmingham, Captain Rother- 
augh, from Wales for France, laden with iron, struck 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 161 

on the Rundle-Stone and foundered immediately. 
Two young lads saved themselves by running aloft, 
and when the ship went from under them, they betook 
themselves to some floating wreckage, and an hour 
afterwards were rescued by a small boat from the 
Cove, near the Stone. The Captain, his wife and 
daughter, and three men, found a watery grave. 

Another Election 

May 2. — Francis Ley, Esq., was interred. 

The mackerel-boats have had good success this past 
week ; some boats have made £100. 

May 18, 1821. — Lord Normanby canvassed the town, 
Mr. Graham having resigned his seat.* 

May 19. — The town and country canvassed for Sir 
Christopher Hawkins, Bart. 

May 24. — Sir Christopher Hawkins, Bart., arrived. 

May 25. — Lord Normanby gave up the contest to 
Sir Christopher, the latter having the majority of 
votes. 

May 26. — Sir Christopher Hawkins, Bart., was 
elected. 

The Census 

June. — By an estimate taken of the inhabitants of 
this town, there appears to be about 3,526; and in the 
year 1810 they amounted to about 3,281, making an 
increase in eleven years of 245 only. 

* " Once again was a petition presented against the two sitting 
Members for St. Ives, when Evelyn, to whom money was no object, 
resisted the inquiry successfully; but poor Graham, who had spent 
£8,000 on his election for Hull only two years previously, distrusted 
the issue of the scrutiny, and resigned his seat to that election 
veteran, Sir Christopher Hawkins." — W. P. CoURTN'KY : Parlia- 
mentary History of Cornwall. 

11 



i62 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

June 6. — One of the aisles in the church fell down, 
occasioned by the workmen undermining the same 
when digging a vault for Mr. Robert Hichens' family. 

Smugglers 

July 4, 1 82 1. — The crew of the preventive-boat 
stationed at this port captured a French sloop, about 
four leagues from the land, and brought her into port 
and landed her cargo of 192 half-kegs of gin and brandy. 

Death of Napoleon 

July 7, 1 82 1. — The news reached St. Ives of the 
death of Napoleon Bonaparte at St. Helena on 
May 6. 

King George IV. 

July 19, 1 82 1. — George IV. was crowned this day. 

August 5. — His Majesty George IV. passed off 
this port, about three and a half leagues, on his 
voyage to Ireland, accompanied by three ships-of-war 
and some cutters and yachts. 

" So anxious Erin seems to hail her King, 
And to the royal guest due honours bring, 
That town and country are prepared to greet him ; 
Nay ! e'en the very bogs have moved to greet him !" 

September 10. — The Lee, sloop-of-war, came close to 
the Head, having parted from the Royal Squadron the 
night they sailed from Ireland. We have since been 
informed that the King put into Milford. 

September 27. — His Majesty's revenue cutter Dolphin 
belonging to this Custom House, took in her stores 
with orders to proceed to Plymouth, with seven other 
revenue cutters, to be paid off immediately. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 163 

October 2. — One boat on the drift, 8,000 herrings and 
1,500 pilchards. 

October 5. — In the morning, at daylight, was dis- 
covered from St. Ives the wreck of a vessel near 
Carrack Gladden Point, which proved to be a French 
chassemaree. All the crew were drowned. One little 
boy, about fourteen, was picked up on the beach, near 
the Black Cliff, and was buried at Phillack. 

November 6. — One boat, 30,000 herrings. 

November 9. — The schooner Waterloo, of this port, 
Nathaniel Rowe master, foundered off Padstow. Crew 
saved. 

November 19. — The largest quantity of pilchards 
ever known on the drift at one time : from 50,000 
down per boat ; in all over 500 hogsheads. 

November 20. — Boats from 5,000 pilchards and 
herrings. 

December 8. — The Henry sailed with the first cargo 
of herrings for Bristol. 

December 17. — Pilchards sold at £4. per hogshead to 
Mr. Fox, of Falmouth. 

News arrived of the loss of the brig Susan, Mayne 
master, on the Hollands' coast. She was bound from 
St. Petersburg for Truro. Crew saved. 

December 22. — The schooner Swift, of London, from 
London for St. Michael's for fruit, spoken off the Head 
with her foremast gone. Would not accept assistance 
from the pilots, but steered up Channel. Also spoke 
the French ketch Adele, from Havre de Grace for 
Cette, laden with casks and ballast, having lost a 
young man overboard ; all sails lost and both anchors. 
Pilotage £70. 

December 28. — A tremendous gale from S.S.E. 
Coals at Hayle have advanced from 46s. to 60s. 



1 64 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

per way.* The stock of coals at Hayle was nearly 
exhausted, owing to the great detention occasioned 
to the vessels by contrary winds and gales. Some 
ships came down with much difficulty on the 25th 
inst. ; others have been up Channel twelve and thirteen 
weeks. 

December 29. — A strong gale from N.N.E. The 
schooner Sportsman, of Southampton, Charles 
Coaster master, laden with butter and bacon, from 
Ross, in Ireland, bound for London, came into the 
pier after great exertions on the part of the people on 
shore and the pilots. The latter hazarded their lives 
in attempting to board the vessel. ,£230 salvage 
demanded. 

December 31. — The salvage of the Sportsman settled 
by arbitration for £100. 

January 1, 1822. — Strong breeze N.W. ; two brigs 
and two smacks came in. 

January 5. — Gale N.E. ; a ship's jolly-boat picked 
up on Porthmear Beach. 

January 6. — Picked up a boat's stern ; ship's name 
Mary, of Glasgow, Alexander Cunningham master. 
Also picked up some hundreds of oranges. 

January 23. — Eleven vessels sailed from Hayle on 
Monday, nineteen on Tuesday, and two on Wednesday. 

January 30. — Captain Richard Williams, brig Ann, 
sold coal at 56s. per way. 

February 9. — Arrived the sloop Cora, of St. Andrew's, 
from Terceira, laden with fruit. 

February 14. — Landed the crew of the brig Forest, 
Captain Hocking, which vessel was bound for Wales 
with copper-ore, but foundered sixteen hours after 
striking on the Seven Stones. 

* Wav = three tons. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 165 

The Late Petition 

February 14. — The news arrived that George Patrick 
Dunn, the Irish false swearer against Messrs. Graham 
and Evelyn and Halse, was sentenced on Monday last 
to seven years' transportation. May this be a warning 
to all voters. Many more, in my opinion, deserve to 
bear him company. 

March 2. — Most of the Swansea fleet have arrived. 
Offered £3 per way. 

March 5. — Four vessels sailed from this port for 
Portreath, but could not get into the Cove. One came 
back with great difficulty, the others were driven up 
Channel; wind W.S.W. 

March 15. — A great number of vessels arrived from 
Wales. 

March 28. — Sailed the French ketch LAdele, of 
Caen. 

March 30. — A very strong gale from W.N.W. The 
Lovely Emily, Captain D. Sydal, is supposed to have 
foundered in the gale near Clovelly. 

April 11. — The Free School, belonging to Sir Chris- 
topher Hawkins, Bart., M.P., was opened for the 
education of poor children.* 

April 16. — The wine picked up by the boats was 
sold at the Globe tavern, by order of H.M. Customs. 

April 26. — Twenty-five mackerel-boats attempted to 
go to sea, but were obliged to run for the harbour 
again. 

The pilot-boat Ceasar brought into the Roads a 

* This school was in Shute Street ; the charge was one penny per 
week, navigation being taught. Although, doubtless, maintained by 
Sir Christopher Hawkins for a political purpose, yet the town derived 
great benefit from the school. 



1 66 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

ketch laden with fruit, from Messina, bound to St. 
Petersburg. One man lost overboard on the passage. 

May 14. — The Captains of the colliers trading to this 
port, Hayle and Portreath, formed a combination not 
to carry copper-ore for less than 5s. per ton, or to sell 
coals from Wales for less than 50s. per way (16s. 8d. 
per ton). 

May 20. — The sailors at Hayle dismantled Captain 
Sargeant's vessel for trading in copper-ore at 4s. per 
ton, on which account the people at Hayle called out 
the Yeoman Cavalry. 

May 28. — The ketch belonging to North Bergen 
sailed this afternoon. 

June 17. — Three boats sailed for Ireland. 

Tallow is at present selling for is. nd. per stone, the 
lowest price since 1772. 

June 30. — A sloop towed into this port dismasted. 

October 11. — Boats on the drift caught a great 
quantity of mackerel, some pilchards and herrings. 

October 18. — Wearne and Co., and Tremearne and Co., 
caught a fine shoal of pilchards, there having been 
none caught in seams for seven years prior to this 
date. 

October 22. — The sloop Active, of Fowey, Williams 
master, missed stays and went on shore on the back of 
the island. Crew saved. 

November 21. — Arrived, the ship Ann, of London, 
from Jamaica, laden with rum and sugar. 

December 5. — The Lord Nelson, of Plymouth, laden 
with oats and butter, wrecked near Gwithian. Crew 
drowned. 

Edward Hain and Co. picked up a large piece 
of American timber, which was detained by the 
Collector of Customs. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 167 

A brig laden with provisions was lost near St. Just ; 
and Captain Parnell, of Padstow, was also lost near 
Boscastle. 

December 10, 16, 20. — Sailed the Betsy, Captain Rose- 
wall; Polmanter, Captain Williams; and Briton, Captain 
Mollard — all three for the Mediterranean, with 
pilchards. 

January 1, 1823. — A French schooner came into port, 
sails much damaged, and ship leaky. 

January 5. — Came into port the brig Emily, forty- 
days from Teneriffe, out of provisions. 

January 15 to 24. — A very great fall of snow. 

January 28. — Arrived a schooner belonging to 
Rochester, from Lisbon, laden with fruit. 

January 30. — A great number of very large fish 
appeared in the bay ; two of them were taken with 
harpoons. 

[The entries from January to July, 1823, are 
missing.] 

Smugglers 

July 14, 1823. — The two wounded men taken on 
board the smuggler were sent off to Bodmin jail. 

The Late Petition 

July 27, 1823. — A great number of the perjured tribe 
were subpoenaed to Bodmin by Sir Christopher 
Hawkins and Mr. Halse. 

July 28. — A great number of the false swearers left 
for Bodmin. 

August 1. — The witnesses for Mr. Halse came into 
town dressed in ribbons, he having gained every trial 
occasioned by the false evidence given against him. 
The judge and jury gave everything for the defendant. 



168 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

August 10. — Arrived the Ayr, from Swansea, with 
coals, in four days after leaving Hayle for Swansea 
with copper-ore. 

August ii. — Arrived the Henry, with coals from 
Swansea, in five days after leaving Hayle with a cargo 
of copper-ore. 

August 19. — Eighteen young men were summoned 
to Camborne, respecting a tumult which occurred at 
Lelant Fair. The matter was made up by the pay- 
ment of the £12 damages demanded by the Lelant 
people. 

August 25. — Sailed the Sophia, from Hayle for Bantry 
Bay, with an engine. 

September 1. — Tremearne's sean shot at the Leigh. 

September 2. — Boats on the drift, from 5,000 to 20,000 
pilchards, the first taken on this side of the land for the 
season. 

September 3. — The harvest has become general 
throughout the neighbouring parishes. 

September 4. — Drift-boats, from 5,000 pilchards. 

September 7. — Thirty sail arrived from Wales, coal- 
laden, for Hayle. 

The last boat from the Irish fishery arrived to-day. 

September 8. — Tremearne and Co. shot a sean at 
Carrack Gladden, but lost the fish owing to a hole 
in the stop-net. Drift-boats, from 5,000 pilchards. 

September 9. — Drift-boats, good success last night. 

September 11. — Came into port a Dutch vessel from 
Antwerp, bound for Bristol, laden with bark. 

Drift-boats, 10,000 to 12,000 pilchards. 

September 12. — Fine harvest weather; boats from 
10,000 pilchards. 

September 18. — Shared the Concern's money from the 
Irish fisher}' : £10 2s. per man. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 169 

September 21. — Steven Major was found killed in 
Consols Mine, supposed to have fallen into the shaft 
when going to inspect the engine. 

September 26. — Mackerel, pilchards, and herring 
caught on the drift last night. A number of small 
shoals seen in the bay. 

September 29. — A large fleet of vessels arrived from 
Wales. 

Boats on the drift, from 5,000 pilchards. 

October 2. — A ship's boat came on shore on Hayle 
Bar. 

October 3. — Six seans in water ; four caught fish. 
Drift-boats, large catches. 

October 6. — Wearne's Concern took up the last of 
their fish. 

October 7. — Sailed the Eliza, Simon Noall master, for 
Penzance, to take in fish for the Mediterranean. 

October 10. — The Quay dues sold for £915 (£925 
with the deeds) to Mr. Roger Wearne, making £85 
more than last year. 

Boats on the drift, from 18,000 pilchards ; offered 
per hogshead £4, including the bounty. 

October 12. — Seven seans shot, only one caught fish. 

October 13. — Three seans shot, only one caught fish. 

October 14. — Drift-boats, from 20,000 pilchards and 
herring. 

October 17. — Hocking and Co. shot a sean. 

October iS. — Strong gale S.W. One of Tremearne's 
dippers filled coming home. 

October 20. — From the last sean taken up, Bolitho 
and Tremearne took forty gurries of herring. 

October 22. — Wearne and Co. shot a sean at Carrack 
Gladden. Drift-boats, from 20,000 pilchards and 
herring. 



170 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

October 23. — A French brig struck on the Shoaler 
Stone and floundered in a few moments. Four men 
and the boy saved themselves in the boat ; two 
men went down with the vessel. She was from Wales, 
with coal and iron, bound to Nantes. 

October 24. — Great quantities of fish caught on the 
drift, chiefly pilchards. 

October 25. — Drift-boats, from 30,000. Nine seans 
shot, seven caught fish ; the largest shoal by Wearne 
and Co., at Cam Crowse. 

October 26 (Sunday). — Two seans shot at Cam 
Crowse, and caught fish. 

October 27. — Fish sold, fresh, 17s. per gurry. Salt 
getting very scarce and dear. 

October 28. — Salt sold at 3s. 9d. per bushel. 

October 29. — Bamfield and Co. shot at Porthminster. 

The "Great October Gale" of 1823 

The first warning of the approach of this great storm 
was made by the huers from the hills, who saw the 
hurricane spreading over the horizon and advancing 
towards the shore. The sean- boats were ordered 
home from stem, and arrived in the harbour only 
just in time before the full fury of the storm burst 
upon the town. 

A brig which sailed from Hayle shortly before was 
seen to be suddenly taken aback and founder, stern 
first, with all hands. 

It is said that not a particle of sand remained upon 
Porthminster Beach, the whole being swept away by 
the force of the waves, leaving the rocks exposed for 
the full length of the Cove. 

October 30, 1823. — Wind S.S.W., thick with rain. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 171 

Some boats on the drift, from 20,000 pilchards. At noon, 
wind S.E. ; at 2.30 p.m., wind S., and very moderate. 
Four vessels sailed from Hayle, and four from Portreath. 
At 4.30 p.m., the wind at an instant shifted to N.N.E., 
and blew a most tremendous gale. A Norwegian 
barque, laden with timber for Hayle, was driven from 
her moorings alongside the Quay, and also the schooner 
Fame, of Padstow, Valentine Richards master, laden 
with slate. Both vessels were thrown on shore under 
the reservoir, between the church and Pednolver 
Point, and became total wrecks. The four seans in 
the water were nearly destroyed. Four sean- boats 
drifted out of the pier, others sunk at their moorings, 
and hundreds of pounds' worth of damage done. 

October 31. — The gale has in no way abated. At 
11.30 a.m., the brig Alfred, of Bideford, William Maine 
master, for Swansea, came on shore on Pednolver 
Point. Crew saved, with the exception of one lad. The 
vessel was quickly knocked to atoms. At 1 p.m., 
the Betsy schooner, of Plymouth, from Bristol for 
Plymouth, with Bristol goods, went on shore in the 
Poll. Captain and one man drowned. At 4.30, still 
blowing a tremendous gale from N.E. The sloop 
Margaret, of Aberystwith, bound from Newport to 
North Wales with coals, came on shore at Porth- 
minster. Crew saved. Also the brig Samuel, of Great 
Yarmouth, from Swansea for London. Crew saved. 
Both vessels soon went to pieces. The Betsy was 
afterwards got off, and became the property of Captain 
William Couch. 

November 1. — Mr. Paul Tremearne Mayor for the 
ensuing year. Gale more moderate. 

November 2. — Wind moderate. A boat towed in, no 
name on stern ; also the stern and after-part of another 



172 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

boat, on which is marked the name Samuel Dimant, 
and Eleanor and Grace, Plymouth. The brig Providence, 
of Swansea, David Owen master, which vessel sailed 
from Portreath, came on shore under Zennor Cliffs, 
bottom up. Crew drowned. One woman found amongst 
the rocks dead. Near at hand another vessel, the 
Elizabeth, of Wexford, came on shore. The John 
Adams, King master, and George and Ann, Jenkyns 
master, from Hayle; the Radford, Parnell master; the 
Providence, Plover, Gordon, and Thomas Angrove, from 
Portreath, were all lost near the Land's End. The 
Ann, of Gweek, Richard Williams master, foundered 
at sea, between St. Ives and the Longships. Eleven 
ships' bowsprits have been picked up. 

November 10. — Arrived the Betsy, Henry Stevens* 
master, after surviving the late gale. She was from 
Newquay, bound to St. Ives, and was driven ioo leagues 
to the westward of Scilly. 

November n. — One boat, over 20,000 herrings. 

November 12. — The drift-boats have from 60,000 
herrings ; the like was scarce known before. The 
greater part of the boats have from 10,000 to 50,000 
per boat. 

November 13. — Drift-boats, from 40,000 herrings. 

November 14. — A great quantity of herrings, selling at 
8s. per gurry. 

November 17. — The Rebecca, of Brixham, and the 
Ambrokc, of Dartmouth, began to load pilchards. 

November 18. — Boats, from 10,000 herrings. 

November 20. — Boats, from 20,000 herrings. 

November 21. — The schooner Betsy, of Plymouth, 
wrecked in the late gale, sold for £304 15s. 

* This is probably the Captain Henry Stevens who was a prisoner 
of war in France, and who is mentioned in Mr. Short's journal. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 173 

November 22. — Sailed the schooner Rebecca, for the 
Mediterranean, with 449 hogsheads of pilchards. 

November 25. — Sailed the Ambroke, with 340 hogs- 
heads. 

November 27. — Sailed the brig Ann, of Liverpool, 
with 750 hogsheads. 

November 28. — Sailed the schooner Emma, with 
500 hogsheads. 

December 6. — Sailed the brig Jane Stewart, of Aber- 
deen, with 600 hogsheads ; the William and Mary, of 
St. Ives, with 516 hogsheads ; and the Grace, of St. Ives, 
with 400 hogsheads. 

December 14. — Sailed the brig Furley, of Hayle, with 
710 hogsheads; and the William, of London, with 609 
hogsheads. 

December 16. — Sailed the Laurel, of London, with 
800 hogsheads. 

December 18. — Sailed the schooner Pomona, of 
Southampton, with 400 hogsheads. 

December 22. — Sailed the Meridian, of Dartmouth, 
with 790 hogsheads. 

December 30. — The body of a man was found on 
Porthmeor Beach. 

January 2, 1824. — Sailed the brig Lambe, of Swan- 
sea, for the Mediterranean, with 426 hogsheads of 
pilchards. 

January 3. — Sailed the schooner Nymph, with 405 
hogsheads. 

January 9. — Sailed the brig Calpe, of London, with 
830 hogsheads. 

January 13. — Sailed the brig Nezv Thomas, of London, 
with 740 hogsheads. 

January 17. — Sailed the brig Flora, of London, with 
603 hogsheads. 



174 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

January 24. — Picked up by the boats seven barrels 
of butter. 

January 28. — Picked up two pieces of timber. 

February 18. — Sailed the brig Industry, of London, 
with 580 hogsheads of pilchards. 

February 21. — Sailed the sloop John and Joseph, with 
330 hogsheads. 

Total quantity of pilchards exported from St. Ives 
this season, 10,778 hogsheads. Nineteen vessels loaded 
here. 

February 22. — Came into harbour the French schooner 
Ceres, from Liverpool, bound to Rouen, laden with lead. 
Pilotage -£22. 

March 2. — Wind N.N.E., a heavy gale. At 2 p.m. the 
sloop Union, of Leith, laden with oil-cake, from Dublin, 
bound for Lynn, went on shore in Porthminster Cove. 
The crew were saved b}^ the manly exertions of the 
crews of four gigs. The pilots received £35 from 
Lloyds for their services. 

March 5. — Landed one man from a smack, which 
vessel was in collision with another smack off the 
Land's End last night. 

March 22. — Came to anchor near the pier two brigs 
and a schooner, with sails split, and one of the brigs 
with loss of foretopmast and all head sails. Wind N. W., 
a stiff gale. 

April 7. — Mackerel-boats, light catches. 

April 14. — Arrived the William and Mary from the 
Mediterranean. One of the fish vessels returned. 

May 14. — Mackerel-boats, from 1,700 down. 

June 4. — Most of the mackerel-boats have given up 
the season. 

June 12. — Arrived the Furley from Gallipoli, laden 
with oil for Bristol. [Another of the fish vessels.] 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 175 

June 17. — The last of the boats sailed for Ireland. 

July 17. — Arrived the Globe, boat from Ireland. 

July 26. — Seaners went into pay, and the boats 
stemmed. 

August 2. — Boats on the drift 10,000 to 15,000 
pilchards. 

Mr. Frederick Wallis canvassed the borough. 

August 10. — Mr. James Halse canvassed the borough. 

August 11. — Sir Christopher Hawkins, Bart., can- 
vassed the borough. 

August 18. — Three boats on the drift had 20,000 
pilchards. 

August 22. — Sir Christopher Hawkins, Bart., and 
Mr. Praed canvassed the borough. 

September 2. — Mr. Frederick Wallis canvassed the 
borough. 

Boats on the drift 10,000 to 15,000 pilchards. 

September 10. — Mr. Halse canvassed. 

September 11. — Sir Christopher Hawkins, Bart., 
canvassed. 

September 22. — Sir Christopher Hawkins, Bart., and 
Mr. Praed canvassed. 

September 26. — Arrived the new schooner Ann 
Williams, B. Quick master, from Plymouth. 

October 5. — An engineer laid down buoys to take a 
draft of the new Quay, now under contemplation. 

October 15, 1824. — Arrived a steam vessel, which 
went for Hayle.* 

Three seans shot on sprat. 

* It is related that very great alarm was occasioned at St. Ives on 
the first appearance of a steamer on the coast. It was thought to 
be a vessel on fire, and boats were manned to go out to her 
assistance ; but on her coming nearer she was discovered to be a 
steam vessel, which went into Hayle. 



176 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

October 20 to 23. — Drift-boats good catches of 
pilchards and herrings. 

October 25. — Tremearne and Bolitho caught a small 
shoal of pilchards at Carrack Gladden. 

October 26. — Drift -boats have landed 160,000 
pilchards. 

October 27, 28, 29. — Large catches of pilchards. 

November 4. — Drift-boats still taking pilchards and 
herrings. 

November 5. — Two seans shot on sprat ; drift-boats 
quantities of pilchards and herrings. 

November 6. — Five seans shot, chiefly on sprat. 

November 13. — Boats from 12,000 pilchards. 

November 22. — Wind S.E., a strong gale. A good 
deal of damage done in the Mount's Bay. 

November 23. — A meeting of the Trustees of the 
Quay held at the "Star" Inn, to take into consider- 
ation the building of a new Quay. The Mayor, Paul 
Tremearne, against the proceedings : nothing done. 

A plan of the New Quay on view in the Town Hall 

December 14. — Canvassing the town for Pendarvis 
and Vivian, in the room of SirWilliam Lemon, deceased. 

Januarys, 1825. — The Wesleyan Missionary meeting 
held. 

January 9. — Sailed the Joseph and Mary, for the 
Mediterranean, with 494 hogsheads of pilchards. 

January 11. — The Quay sold this year for the sum 
of £960; additional dues required, according to the 
new regulations, £740; making a total of £1,700; the 
amount required to meet the ,£30,000 proposed to be 
spent in building the New Quay, etc. 

January 14. — Sailed the Ann Williams, Quick master, 
with 321 hogsheads pilchards. 
January 18. — Wind S.S.W., a stiff gale. The Ceres, 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 177 

Captain Bawden, was driven on shore between 
Chyandour and the Mount. 

February 22. — Sailed the Active, John Matthews. 

March 16. — Mr. Powell and his troupe quitted 
St. Ives, having performed four times. 

April 4. — A very strong dispute amongst the Alder- 
men at the select vestry this afternoon. 

April 13. — One boat, 2,500 mackerel. 

April 15. — Very good fishing with the mackerel-boats. 

April 16. — One boat, 5,000 mackerel. 

April 26. — The shipwrights struck for wages, 
demanding from 3s. 6d. to 4s. per day. 

April 27. — The sailors held a meeting, at which it 
was agreed that the wages should advance from 45s. 
per month to 50s., and the mates from 50s. to 60s., and 
to have victuals at home and abroad. 

May 3. — Four men drawn to serve in the Militia. 

May 9. — The petition against granting any further 
concessions to the Roman Catholics of Ireland sent to 
the House of Commons. 

May 17. — The Catholic Bill was gained in the House 
of Commons by a majority of twenty-one on its third 
reading, and lost in the House of Lords by a majority 
of forty-eight. 

August 24. — Young Mr. Stephens canvassed the 
borough. 

September 1. — Boats on the drift, from 10,000 
pilchards. 

September 2 to 9. — Drift-boats, large catches of 
pilchards. 

October 3. — Young Squire Stephens canvassed the 
borough. 

October 15. — First half of October, drift-boats, good 
catches of pilchards. 



178 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

October 16. — The Wesleyan Methodist Chapel re- 
opened ; three services held : total collections, £46. 

October 24. — Tremearne and Bolitho caught a small 
shoal of herring's. 

November 1. — Drift-boats, from 6,000 herrings ; price, 
3s. 6d. per hundred. 

November 10. — Wind N.E., a very heavy gale, with a 
tremendous sea ; damage to shipping trivial, but some 
houses on the beach were unroofed, windows broken, 
and cellar-doors forced open by the violence of the 
waves. The sea broke at intervals into the churchyard, 
the graves were levelled, and two head-stones washed 
down. 

November 12. — Sailed the Fame, Stevens, for Seville ; 
and the Bideford, Mollard, for St. Michael's. 

November 13 to 24. — Drift -boats, large catches of 
herrings, the Frenchmen giving 3s. per hundred.* 

The Slave-Ship 

December g, 1825. — Arrived the French bngPerle from 
St. John's, on the coast of Africa, having on board five 
negroes. She is supposed to be a slave-ship driven 
off the African coast. The Captain, First and Second 
Lieutenants, doctor, super-cargo, and five seamen dead, 
and the mate unable to come on deck. 

December 26. — The negroes from the French brig 
Perle were taken on shore by Habeas Corpus, ordered 
to be clothed and sent to London. 

December 31. — One of the crew of the Perle buried 
to-day. 

January 23, 1826. — The French brig Perle dismantled 

* French smacks formerly came to St. Ives in considerable 
numbers for the purchase of herrings for curing purposes. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 179 

by Preventive men by orders from London on account 
of her being a slave-ship. A meeting of the inhabitants 
took place in the Calvinist chapel to petition the 
Legislature to abolish the slave trade and to eman- 
cipate the slaves in the West Indies. Mr. Pendarves 
took the chair. 
January 25. — The French brig Perle released. 

It would be deeply interesting to have full details of 
the voyage of the slave-ship from the time of her 
leaving the African coast to her arrival at St. Ives, but 
the complete story of this tragedy of the sea can never 
now be known. 

It is most probable that the five negroes landed at 
St. Ives were merely the survivors of a much larger 
number taken on board on the African coast, and when 
some dreadful epidemic, cholera or yellow fever, swept 
through the ship, the unfortunate negroes confined 
below deck would be the first to succumb. 

Officers and crew were then stricken, and the ship, 
meeting with adverse gales of wind, was driven far from 
her course, until the few survivors, more dead than 
alive, took shelter at St. Ives. 

Negroes rescued from Bondage 

In the report of the African Institution (a Society 
for the repression of the slave trade) for 1826, is the 
following : 

"The five Africans, brought accidently into St. Ives, 
in Cornwall, in a French slave-ship the Perle, par- 
ticularly call for the good offices of the directors. 
Mr. Wilberforce, indeed, in conjunction with Mr. 
Stephen, on first hearing of the circumstances, adopted 
prompt and decisive measures for rescuing these poor 



iSo PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

creatures from their state of bondage. On a writ of 
Habeas Corpus they were brought to London, and by 
Chief Justice Best liberated. Two have died of illness, 
and the other three are leaving for Africa in a few days. 
This incident will cost the Society between .£200 and 
£300."—^;' 19, 1826. 

January 20. — A son of George Toman fell from the 
fore-topsail yard of the brig Furley, of Hayle, down on 
deck. 

The Godolphin, Captain F. Sincock, laden with fruit, 
from St. Michael's, and her crew, lost in Youghal Bay, 
on the coast of Ireland. 

Salt herrings 4s. 6d. per hundred in St. Ives ; 
potatoes 8s. 6d. per bushel ; beef yd. per pound ; flour 
(wheat) 2|d. per pound. 

February 1. — The Clipper pilot-boat landed a pipe 
and half of sherry wine, picked up at sea. 

February 2. — The Fame, Stevens, arrived at Penzance 
in twenty-six days from Seville. 

February 7. — Arrived the French ketch L 'Alexandrine \ 
of Rouen, from Cette, bound for Rouen, laden with wine. 

February 20. — Last night a vessel came on shore near 
Penzance laden with olive oil and tallow. Crew lost. 

February 21. — Came into port the French ship 
L Ocean, with 500 tons of logwood from Campeachy, 
bound to Havre de Grace. 

March 11. — Arrived the Ayr, Henry, and Ferouia, 
from Wales, and the Furley from Plymouth. 

March 12. — Arrived the Ann, Shylock, Joseph, Fox, 
Betsy, Joker, and two boats from Wales. 

March 17. — The pilot-boat Betsy, Richard Jennings, 
sailed from Ireland, and supposed to be lost about this 
time. 

April 1. — Two Norwegians discharging their cargoes. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 181 

April 7. — One boat, 1,200 very fine mackerel, sold at 
2|d. each. 

April 11. — The Joker, Captain W. Thomas, lost near 
Fowey. 

April 12. — The L Ocean ran on shore on the Eastern 
Spits, and filled with water; crew saved. The pilot, 
Richard Grenfell, received an injury. 

April 13. — The L! Ocean discharged 100 tons logwood 
into Hayle barges. Her repairs at St. Ives, previous 
to her loss, cost £1,249 17s. 6d. The wreck has been 
sold for £205. 

April 14. — Mackerel-boats, good fishing : 22s. per 120. 

April 21. — Arrived in the bay the Active, John 
Matthews, from St. Michael's, for Bristol; and the 
Jane Williams, from Genoa for Liverpool, fifty-two 
days' passage. 

May 8. — Arrived the schooner Fame, T. Stevens, 
from Lisbon, bound for Bristol. 

May 9. — Mr. Paul Tremearne, Mayor, died at noon. 

May 12. — Sailed the ketch L Alexandrine, of Rouen, 
Captain Jean Boquie, for Havre de Grace. 

The Mayor, Mr. Paul Tremearne, was interred to- 
day. 

The schooner Polmanter began to load alongside St. 
Ives Quay the first cargo of copper-ore ever shipped 
from this port direct from a mine. This cargo is from 
Wheal Trenwith. 

May 23. — The raft of timber that was lost near the 
Brissons, when towing from Pendeen Cove, was found 
last night in Bassett's Cove, and towed to St. Ives by 
the gigs. 

May 27. — Mackerel selling 3d. each ; butter in Pen- 
zance market io^d, and beef 7d. per pound ; barley 16s., 
wheat 27s., potatoes us. per bushel. 



i82 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

May 29. — Arrived the Minerva, new brig, Captain 
M. Trewhella, her second voyage, laden with coals. 



An Election 

May 22, 1826. — Young Squire Stephens gave notice 
of his intention to withdraw from the contest as a 
candidate for the borough at the next General Elec- 
tion. 

June 3. — An active canvass commenced by Sir 
Christopher Hawkins, Bart. 

Mr. W. A. Mackinnon canvassed the town. 

June 6. — Mr. Mackinnon made an active canvass, 
supported by the interest of Sir Christopher Hawkins 
and Samuel Stephens, Esq., and the electors that 
wished for the appearance of a third candidate. 

June 9. — The polling commenced at the Town Hall 
to elect two Members to serve in Parliament. The 
three candidates are : Sir C. Hawkins, Bart., Mr. Mac- 
kinnon, and Mr. James Halse. Rain fell in torrents, 
with tremendous peals of thunder, and fierce flashes 
of lightning. A man and horse were struck by the 
lightning and killed on Kenegy Downs. 

June 10. — State of the last day's poll : 

Sir Christopher Hawkins, Bart. ... 180 

James Halse ... ... ... ... 139 

Mackinnon ... ... ... ... 102 



Total votes ... ... ... 421* 

* " The ascendancy of the Tories was so marked throughout the 
country in 1826 that all the candidates for the borough — Hawkins 
Halse (who was a leading adventurer in the neighbouring mines), 
and Mackinnon — were of that political hue, and it was the lot of the 
latter to go to the wall." — W. P. Courtney : Parliamentary History 
of Cornwall. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 183 

June 7. — One guinea each allowed for a dinner to 
the votes of Sir Christopher Hawkins. 

June 14. — The Pendarves, Captain Vivian, sailed for 
Havre, with part of LOceatis cargo. 

June 20. — Sailed the brig Minerva, M. Trewhella, 
master, for Havre de Grace, laden with logwood from 
the French ship L Ocean. 

June 22. — Bees sw T armed. 

June 26. — A meeting of the inhabitants took place in 
the Guild Hall to consider the propriety of establishing 
a workhouse in the borough for the paupers. 

July 3. — A large fish, 19 feet long, picked up dead at 
sea and towed in. 

July 16.— Arrived the boat Swift, from Ireland. It 
is said that ten of the boats are gone to Wick, in the 
North of Scotland. 

July 2i. — Arrived the Bideford. 

July 23. — Arrived the Minerva, M. Trewhella, from 
Havre. 

July 24. — A missionary meeting was held in the 
church. 

July 26. — The virgins danced round Knill's Monu- 
ment. 

The wheat harvest commenced in this parish. 

July 29. — Sir Walter Stirling arrived from London. 

August 1. — Nearly twenty persons gone to Bodmin 
concerning the election of 1S20. 

August 4. — The Bacchus, boat from Ireland, landed 
3,000 very fine pilchards. 

August 10. — One boat on the drift, 9,000 pilchards. 
-Seven boats arrived from Ireland. 
. — Arrived the Fame, bound to Chester. 
-Sailed the Diligence, Hodge, for Faro. 
-Boats on the drift, from 14,000 pilchards. 



August 13 
August 20 
A i /gust 2 1 
August 25 



1S4 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

August 29 to September 5. — Drift-boats, large catches 
of pilchards. 

September 6. — Came into port the brig Anna, of 
London, Hain master, from Newport, laden with 
coals ; pilotage, £6$. 

September 7. — Wind N.W., strong gale; a brig sup- 
posed on shore near St. Agnes. Came in a French 
smack, and the boat Ccasar, from Wick. 

September 8. — The brig on shore at St. Agnes is the 
Fair Ellen, of London, from Wales for London, laden 
with iron. Crew saved. 

September 10. — Tremearne and Bolitho caught a small 
shoal at Cam Crows. Nine other seans shot, four 
only caught fish ; drift-boats, good catches. 

September 11. — Bolitho shot at Portminster. 

September 12. — Hocking and Co. caught a small shoal. 
Drift-boats, from 2,000 mackerel, and from 14,000 pil- 
chards. 

September 14. — Drift-boats, large catches. 

September 15. — Four seans shot. 

The Fair Ellen, from St. Agnes, came into St. Ives 
pier to get repaired. 

September 16. — Drift-boats, 80,000 pilchards. 

September 21. — Sailed the Fly, Sampson, for 
Seville. 

September 23. — Sailed the Mary, Thomas Many, for 
St. Michael's. 

October 4. — Captain Edward Richards, when coming 
across the Bay in the brig Underhill, carried away his 
main top-mast. 

October 5. — Sailed the Active, J. Matthews master, 
for the Island of Terceira, for fruit. 

October 7. — Arrived the Ann Williams, B. Quick 
master, from Croisic, PVance, with fish-salt. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 185 

October 11. — Quay sold to T. Tremearne and 
V. Stevens for ^930. 

October 13. — Drift-boats, herrings and mackerel. 

October 28. — Sailed the Grace, Rowe, the Bideford, 
Mollard, and the Betsy, Tanner ; all three for St. 
Michael's. The pilot-gig, coming from the latter, 
capsized with fifteen men and boys, and three — viz., 
William Sisley, John Williams, and a lad named 
James T. Hodge — met a watery grave. 

October 24. — Captain Anthony Johns came into the 
Bay from Leghorn, bound to Glasgow. 

November 1. — No Mayor chosen, a quorum not being 
present. 

November 7. — Sailed the schooner Tantivy, Hodge 
master, for Aneona, with 630 hogsheads pilchards. 

November 8. — Sailed the Ann Williams, B. Quick, 
for Genoa, with 315 hogsheads pilchards. 

November 10. — Sailed the Susan, John Williams 
master, with 305 hogsheads pilchards. 

November 13. — Drift-boats, good catches of pilchards 
and herrings. 

A petition to the churchwardens, extensively signed, 
praying that the water at Ventenear Well, which has 
been diverted by the adit in the field above, may be 
restored to its original course, and that the distressful 
state under which the inhabitants now linger for want 
of water may be relieved. 

November 17. — The petition was sent off against 
the elected Member of Parliament, James Halse, 
on account of his being Town Clerk of this 
borough at the time of his election, and therefore 
disqualified. v 

November 18. — Sailed the Cornnbia, Heath, for the 
Mediterranean, with 492 hogsheads pilchards. 



1 86 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

November 23. — Drift-boats, good catches of pilchards 
and herrings. 

November 24. — Sailed for the Mediterranean the 
Hector, Nicholls, with 600 hogsheads ; and the 
favourite, Askew, with 612 hogsheads pilchards. 

Total pilchards exported, 3,554 hogsheads. 

December 7. — Came into the roads the barque A mity, 
of London, with timber from Quebec, very leaky. 

News arrived of the petition against Mr. Halse being 
entered. 

December 16. — Sailed the Globe, of Hull, for Bristol, 
laden with wine, hides, and skins, from Cape of Good 
Hope. 

January 5, 1827. — Four men put on board the brig 
John, of Sunderland, from Cardiff, having carried away 
her foreyard and otherwise disabled. Supposed gone 
for Scilly; wind N.E. 

January 8. — Captain Thomas Harry obliged to put 
into Penzance to land Thomas Uren, who fell from 
the fore crosstrees, and brought up across the rail, on 
the 3rd instant. 

January 11. — Arrived the Phoenix, from Cork, and 
the Bideford, from St. Michael's, with fruit ; blowing 
a heavy gale. 

January 16. — Sailed the Bideford, for London. 

January 17. — Sailed the Phoenix, for Falmouth. 

January 19. — Sailed the Fair Ellen, for London. 

January 20. — Sailed from Hayle thirty sail for 
Wales. 

January 31. — Mr. Halse's votes had a public dinner ; 
10s. 6d. per man. 

February 1. — Sailed the John, Edwards master, for 
Wales. 

February 2. — Came into harbour a French brig from 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 187 

Marseilles, laden with wine and rice ; also seven other 
Frenchmen, laden with grain, etc. 

February 10. — There are now in the pier nine sail 
of French vessels, laden with grain, pulse, etc., wind- 
bound. 

February 25. — Arrived the Fly, Sampson, from St. 
Michael's, in twenty-six days. 

March 3. — Came into port the French brig Emma, 
from Charleston, U.S., laden with cotton, bound 
for Havre. 

Came back the Fly ; also came in the smack 
M. Bloucker, from St. Michael's, laden with fruit, 
bound to London, after a passage of thirty-seven days, 
and short of all necessaries. 

March 5. — A strong gale. Fly came back again. 

The pole on the garrison was blown down. 

March 10. — Sailed the Fly again for London. 

March 17. — Arrived the Fame. 

March 20. — The Swansea fleet that had put into 
Padstow arrived. 

March 30. — The news reached St. Ives from Padstow 
that the boat Dasher, belonging to the Mount's Bay, 
bound to Bristol, with a cargo of mackerel, was lost 
near Padstow. Crew drowned. 

April 5. — Mackerel-boats, from 1,000 down ; price 
25s. per hundred. 

April 8. — Arrived the Ann Williams, in fifteen days 
from Lisbon. 

April 10 to 18. — Boats, good catches mackerel. 

April 25. — Sir Christopher Hawkins' votes had 10s. 
each for a tea. 

May 4 to 11. — Good catches of mackerel. 

May 15. — Arrived the Ann Williams, from Cardiff 
for Colchester, laden with iron. 



1 88 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

May 1 8. — Arrived a French lugger with salt. 

May 23. — The fore part of the schooner Mary Ann 
launched for lengthening. 

May 24. — An old woman died in Towednack, aged 
103 years. 

May 26. — Boats, from 4,000 mackerel. 

June 3. — A son to S. Curnow, of Trowan, fell over 
cliff twenty fathoms, and was killed on the spot. 

June 7. — Young Runnalls was sent off from St. Ives 
to Bodmin, he having taken out a licence to marry a 
daughter of Rowland, the butcher, against the consent 
of his father (he being a minor). 

June 10. — Arrived in the Bay the Tantivy from 
Cardiff, bound to Malta. 

July 23. — Captain Tremearne put in some seans. 

August 1. — Two boats on the drift, 12,000 
pilchards. 

August 6. — Arrived William Wearne's new vessel 
from Newport. 

August 8. — Seaners signed articles to receive two 
gurries per man out of every 400 gurries of fish. 

August 11. — A great number of boats arrived from 
Ireland. Drift-boats, large catches of pilchards. 

August 15. — Drift-boats landed 240 hogsheads pil- 
chards. 

August 21. — Drift-boats landed 120 hogsheads pil- 
chards. Hocking and Co. caught a small shoal. 

August 22. — Two seans shot ; drift-boats, large 
catches. 

August 23. — Bamfield and Co. caught a shoal at the 
Poll. 

August 23 to 28. — Drift-boats landed 230 hogsheads 
pilchards. 

August 30. — Sailed the Polmanter for Oporto. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 189 

September 18. — A desperate encounter on board the 
French schooner U Argus, of Havre, Captain Letour. 
This vessel, for her repairs and long detention here, 
has caused an expense of more than £700, and having 
been bottomry'd, it was arranged that the shipwright, 
J. Daniel, should go over in the vessel ; but before he 
came on board, they thought to take her to sea with- 
out him, in consequence of which the apprentices and 
others, who had been insulted by the ship's company, 
after a battle with handspikes, succeeded in bringing 
the vessel into the pier again. 

September 19. — Sailed the L Argus. 

September 28. — Sailed the schooner Union for St. 
Michael's. 

October 2. — Pilchards sold for £3 8s. 6d. per hogs- 
head. 

October 5. — A signal-pole was erected on the church- 
yard wall to distinguish the stems. 

October 10. — Sailed the Active, John Matthews, for 
Terceira. 

October 16. — Sailed the Plicenix, Mary Ann, and 
Joseph. 

October 19. — A great number of vessels came into 
port from Wales. 

October 26. — Sailed the schooner Camilla, with 577 
hogsheads, and the Mary, with 450 hogsheads pil- 
chards, for the Mediterranean, making 1,027 hogs- 
heads, the total shipped from this port this season. 

November 8. — One sean belonging to Tremearne 
and Co. shot to Cam Crowse. This was the only 
sean afloat, the other concerns having carried all their 
seans to the lofts. Boats on the drift, from 30,000 
pilchards. A great quantity passed this morning. 

November 9. — Drift-boats, 300 hogsheads pilchards. 



190 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

November 10. — Drift-boats, from 15,000 pilchards, 
with herring and scads. 

November 18. — Sailed the Thomas, Wearne, for 
Oporto, laden with iron. 

November 21. — Five seans shot ; one went round the 
Head, and only one caught fish. Thousands of hogs- 
heads passed through the stems. 

December 5. — Boats on the drift, pilchards and her- 
ring. Sailed the Fame, Stevens, for Neath. 

December 14. — Boats, from 5,000 pilchards and 
herring. 

December 29. — Remainder of pilchards sold at 
£$ is. 6d. per hogshead. 

January i, 1828. — The Levant Packet was launched 
about four-fifths of her length. 

January 2. — The second attempt to launch the 
Levant Packet was made. 

January 3. — The third attempt to launch the Levant 
Packet^ but the cradles gave way. 

January 4. — The Levant Packet successfully launched. 
She is a fine-built brig, of 190 tons burden. 

January 7. — Arrived the Fame and Joseph from 
Wales. 

January 17. — John Barnes, seventy-seven years of 
age, fell from the cliff at the back of the Island and 
died next day. 

January 23. — Sailed the Levant Packet, John Percival 
master, with 314 hogsheads pilchards for Naples. 

February 1. — Came into the roads a Swedish sloop 
from Messina, fruit-laden, bound to Stockholm. 

February 9. — Arrived the Welsh fleet ; some have 
been nearly twelve weeks on the voyage. Coals 
advanced 2s. per way ; price now 46s. 

February 11. — The schooner Clipper, Jacob Roach 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 191 

master, was lost near Gwithian. Crew drowned. 
Strong gale N.W. 

February 19. — News arrived of the loss of the 
schooner Speculation, of this port, Henry Bryant 
master, on Lundy Island, on the 13th inst. The 
Captain and one man saved themselves in the boat, 
the other two foundered with the ship. 

Another Election 

February 25, 1828. — In consequenceof SirChristopher 
Hawkins, Bart., having resigned his seat in Parlia- 
ment, he canvassed the town for the Right Hon. Sir 
Charles Arbuthnot* The writ was publicly read at 
noon. 

February 26. — The town canvassed for one Guy 
Lennox Prendergast, Esq. 

February 29. — The Mayor and the supporters of the 
two candidates assembled at the Town Hall, when the 
friends of Mr. Prendergast refused standing the poll 
in consequence of which the Right Hon. Sir Charles 
Arbuthnot was duly elected to represent this borough 
in Parliament. 

April 7. — Each voter for Sir Christopher Hawkins 
had a dinner, and the remainder of a one-pound note. 

A Further Election 

June 2, 1828. — Wellesley Long Pole, Esq., canvassed 
the town, the late elected member, Sir Charles 

* "After two years of life at Westminster, Sir Christopher retired 
to make room for Mr. Charles Arbuthnot, whose friendship with the 
Duke of Wellington secured for him a place in the Duke's Ministry, 
and a seat in the Cabinet." — W. P. Courtxky : Parliamentary 
History of Cornwall. 



192 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

Arbuthnot, having resigned his seat, being previously 
exalted in the Ministry. 

June 5. — Mr. Halse, or at least Mr. Hichens and 
Mr. Lee on his interest, canvassed for a Mr. Blackmore. 

June 10. — At 10 a.m. Sir Christopher Hawkins, 
Bart, and Wellesley Long Pole, Esq., the former 
supporting the cause of the Right Hon. Sir Charles 
Arbuthnot, attended at the Town Hall, when Wellesley 
Long Pole, Esq., resigned the contest, and Sir Charles 
Arbuthnot was elected without opposition. Im- 
mediately afterwards Mr. Wellesley Pole made an 
active and successful canvass of the town for another 
election, and left St. Ives at 10 p.m., having given each 
vote 5s., and Sir Christopher Hawkins gave all his 
friends 5s.* 

June 11. — Mr. Halse, and also Sir Christopher 
Hawkins, canvassed the town. 

June 21. — All Mr. Wellesley's votes had a public 
dinner ; each received one guinea to defray the ex- 
pense of the dinner, which came to 7s. 3d. per man. 

August 1. — Sir Christopher Hawkins gave each of 
his friends one guinea for a dinner, and the women 
10s. The dinner cost 3s. 6d. per plate. 

Arrived the Betsy, Tanner, from St. Michael's, in 
fifteen days. 

August 8. — The smack John and Mary, of Plymouth, 
went on shore in a fog about two miles from St. Ives. 
Crew arrived here in their boat. 

August 9. — The John and Mary was brought into the 
pier by the pilots. 

August 18. — Arrived the Navarino, Captain Thomas 
Paynter, from Wales, on her first voyage. She was 
built at Bideford. 

* The good old times ! 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 193 

August 23. — Sailed the Navarino. 

Drift-boats, from io,oco pilchards. 

All the boats have arrived safely from Ireland ; very- 
bad success, many not having got enough to pay for the 
outfit of the voyage. 

Mackerel-boats, from 1,600, sold to the Dolphin at 
30s. per hundred. 

August 26. — John Winehouse, alias "Old Jack," was 
discovered in his bed-chamber hung. Previous to 
committing the deed he wrote the following against 
the back of a chair : 

" Do Justice in St. Ives. 
Let this be a warning to Mayors. 
No law for me ! — Johx Nicholls." 

He had made application to the Mayor the same day 
to get redress for repeated insults from men and 
boys. 

August 27. — The jury met at ten o'clock, but could 
not come to a determination concerning the late affair, 
so they adjourned until 8 p.m., when they sat in 
deliberation until eleven, and came to a decision that 
the deceased made away with himself when in a state 
of irritation, driven to the same by repeated insults 
from the boys. 

News arrived of the loss of the Levant Packet, on 
the island of Sicily, the 22nd ultimo. 

Refugees 

August 29, 1828. — Arrived the Dutch ship Enter- 
prize, from Ferol, with Portuguese refugees on 
board. 

August 31. — Some of the Portuguese officers left for 
Falmouth. 



194 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

September i. — A great number of the Portuguese left 
for Falmouth, 372 in all, with some women. 

September 2. — The remainder of the refugees left for 
Falmouth. 

September 5. — Arrived the brig Jane, of London, 
from Madeira, ten days' passage from the island, 
having on board fifty refugees; among the number 
the Governor of the island and his wife : Pedro's 
party. 

Drift-boats landed over 100 hogsheads pilchards. 

September 7. — Sailed the Dutch ship Enterprize ; 
arrived the Shylock, Barber, from Croisic, with salt. 

Arrived the Grace, Rowe, from Croisic, with salt. 

September 9. — Wind S.W., a strong gale. Twenty- 
eight boats were driven to Newquay, St. Agnes, and 
Portreath ; two boats lost, one crew saved, but two 
men from the other boat, Nicholas Phillips and his 
nephew, were drowned. 

September 13. — Sailed the schooner Jane, Quick 
master, for Messina. 

September 14 to 22. — Drift-boats, large catches of 
pilchards. 

September 23. — Thirteen seans in water ; some of the 
shoals are estimated at from 1,500 to 1,800 hogs- 
heads. 

September 25. — A great quantity of pilchards 
landed. 

September 26. — Hichens and Co. lost the whole of their 
fish. The foot-rope tripped, owing to the tides being 
so strong. 

September 27. — Sailed the Fly, Sampson, and Betsy, 
Tanner, for Faro; and the Joseph, Berriman, for 
Croisic. 

Bolitho and Co. shot a sean at Pednolver. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 195 

Drift-boats landed over fifty hogsheads. 

Bolitho and Co. shot a sean at Carrack Gladden. 

September 29. — Bolitho and Tremearne caught two 
large shoals at Carrack Gladden. 

Some seans shot at Carrack Gladden. 

Three seans shot at Carrack Gladden. 

A strange light appeared in the sky at 8 p.m. 

October 1. — A pilchard was caught in Mr. Tremearne's 
tuck-net measuring 14 inches in length, 2f inches in 
breadth, girth 5$ inches, the head 3 inches, and weighing 
1 1 ounces.* 

October 14. — Arrived the account of the loss of 
the brig Juno, near Roscilly Bay. Crew drowned : 
Captain James Kempthorne, Pascoe, Hodge, and 
Charles Richards. 

October 15. — Sailed the schooner Mary, Thomas 
Harry master, with 383 hogsheads pilchards belonging 
to the poor fishermen, ventured for a market. 

October 19. — Sailed the brig Lambe, W. Thomas 
master, for Ancona, with 418 hogsheads, ventured out 
by the fishermen. 

Nine seans shot at Carrack Gladden. 

October 27. — Sailed the brig Thomas, with 566 hogs- 
heads for Venice. 

October 30. — Sailed the Active, Matthews, with 270 
hogsheads for the Mediterranean. 

November 1. — Sailed the brig New Manly, with 650 
hogsheads. 

* " The fishermen say that the pilchards have a sort of Govern- 
ment amongst them, and that a Monarchical one — viz., a King and 
Queen. About thirty years since (about a.d. 1700), there were taken 
two at Mevagissy of an uncommon size, one being more than 
13 inches in length, and the other 12-i inches, which they said 
were the King and Queen." — Tonkin's Notes to Carew's " Survey of 
Cornwall." 



196 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

November 10. — Sailed the brig William, of Hull, 
with 660 hogsheads, and the Naples Packet, Welch 
master, with 800 hogsheads pilchards. 

November 16. — Sailed the brig Glory, Pope master, 
with 650 hogsheads, and the schooner Pomona, Major, 
with 311 hogsheads. 

December 2. — Sailed the brig Calenack, James Pascoe 
master, with 640 hogsheads. 

December 4. — Sailed the schooner Dunkins, with 512 
hogsheads. 

December 5. — Sailed the schooner Grace, Rowe, with 
400 hogsheads. 

December 6. — The schooner Economy was launched. 
She went off in grand style. 

December 13. — Sailed the brig Agenora, Best master, 
with 650 hogsheads. 

December 14. — Sailed the Brothers, Mollard, for 
Leghorn, with 468 hogsheads. 

December 22. — Sailed the brig Eagle, of Penzance, 
Barnes master, with 900 hogsheads. 

December 27. — Sailed the Liverpool, T. Rosevvall 
master, with 700 hogsheads. 

December 28. — Sailed the brig Ocean, Tucker, with 
672 hogsheads ; the new schooner Economy, Williams 
master, with 500 hogsheads, both for the Mediterranean ; 
and the schooner Cornnbia, for Hambro', with fish oil. 

January 2, 1829. — Sailed the brig Favourite, of 
Penzance, Thomas Gyles master, with 650 hogsheads 
for Naples ; and the Navarino, Paynter, for Terceira. 

January 4. — A schooner ran on the rock Harva, and 
instantly disappeared. All the crew drowned. 

January 5. — The wreck of the schooner lost yester- 
day, supposed the Mary Ann, Captain Bamfield, of 
Lelant, was towed into the pier. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 197 

Arrived the news of the loss of the sloop John 
and Matilda, when going into Padstow on Sunday- 
last. 

January 6. — Sailed the schooner Nymph, of London, 
for Genoa, with 672 hogsheads pilchards. 

January 11. — Sailed the schooner Camilla, Douglass, 
with 540 hogsheads. 

January 15. — Sailed the brig Britannia, with 641 
hogsheads. 

The total quantity of pilchards exported from 
St. Ives this season to the Mediterranean amounts to 
12,653 hogsheads; twenty-two vessels were loaded 
here. The pilchards sold from 40s. to 45s. per hogs- 
head. 

January 20. — The schooner Eldred, the third vessel 
launched from this port in twelve months, was set 
afloat this day in good style ; some hundreds as- 
sembled on the beach to witness the launch. 

January 23. — The adventurers of the brig Lambe's 
cargo received their last payment : netted 42s. sd. per 
hogshead. 

January 27. — Coals per way, at Hayle, 42s. 

January 28. — A petition was set out at the Town Hall 
for signature to both Houses of Parliament against 
Catholic Emancipation. 

March 6. — An old man, named Robert Squires, was 
found on the beach drowned. He had broken into 
Mrs. Morton's house, and was discovered in the cellar 
in a state of intoxication, seated with a half-pint of beer 
before him, an empty quart measure, and a pitcher of 
beer to carry away. Whether he afterwards fell into 
the sea or drowned himself for fear of the consequences 
is not known. 

March26. — Sailed the schooner-brig Eldred, Matthews 



198 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

master, on her first voyage for Swansea, laden with 
copper ore. 

March 31. — News received that Captain Thomas 
Bawden, jun., whose ship was run down off the coast 
of Ireland, had been taken off by a West Indiaman and 
carried to Liverpool. Whether this is true or not 
cannot be ascertained. 

April 2. — The true account of the loss of the schooner 
John, T. Bawden master, was received this day from 
James Peak, one of the ship's company. The vessel 
was thrown on her beam ends, and the crew had to 
cut away her masts. The weather being very cold, 
the Captain and a boy died in the night ; on the follow- 
ing day Thomas Hart and another boy died ; and on 
the third day James Peak and a passenger were taken 
off the wreck and carried to Belfast. 

April 6.— Sir Christopher Hawkins, Bart., departed 
this life this morning in the seventy-first year of his 
age. His death will be greatly felt and deplored by 
hundreds. His charitable contributions amongst the 
indigent will be found greatly wanting. A more 
generous and benevolent landlord could not be 
found. He was never known to distrain for rent. 
He established a Free School in St. Ives for the 
education of the poor, and gave the sum of ,£100 
towards enlarging the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in 
this town. 

April n. — Mackerel-boats, from 1,000 to 1,200; sold 
at 21s. per hundred. 

April 14. — Wind W.S.W., a heavy gale; the brig Ayr, 
Thomas Daniel master, was driven on shore in Whit- 
sand Bay. Crew saved. 

April 19. — The brig Ayr was brought into the 
Harbour from Whitsand Bay. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 199 

April 21. — All Mr. Wellesley's friends had a dinner 
and £1 to pay for the same. 

April 22. — Skiffs Dolphin and Globe took on board 
mackerel for Bristol. 

May 1. — Mackerel-boats, from 3,000; sold at 25s. and 
27s. per 100. Mount's Bay boats fishing here. 

May 20. — Fish sell at an enormous price : half- 
grown breams, 2d. each ; small rays, 5d. each ; red 
hellicks, two for 2§d. ; salt ling, 4d. per pound ; a small 
fresh ling, is. iod. ; cod, is. 3d. each. Potatoes, 8s. per 
bushel ; beef, yd. per pound ; butter, 8d. per pound ; 
barley, 16s. to 17s. per bushel. 

May 21. — Two small boats on the drift took 600 and 
200 large herring ; sold two for ijd. 

June 28. — Wind N., a strong gale. The brig Bellona, 
of Cardigan, went on shore on the eastern side of 
the bay, with no one on board. The crew supposed 
to have left the ship in the boat, and afterwards 
drowned, as the boat has been picked up under Zennor 
cliffs. 

July 17. — Sailed the Jane, J. Quick, for Liver- 
pool. 

July 18. — Arrived the York Packet, from Liverpool, 
with a general cargo. 

July 20. — Sailed the brig Joseph, Berriman, and the 
Ann Williams, Quick, both for France for salt. 

August 1. — Arrived the schooner Eldrcd, from 
Llanelly, bound for Madeira. 

August 4. — Arrived the schooner Tantivy, Hodge 
master, from Newport for Malta, laden with iron. 

August 5. — Sailed the Eldrcd and Tantivy. 

August 11. — Six boats on the drift, 48,000 fine 
pilchards. 

August 21. — Sailed the Joseph, Wall, for France. 



200 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

August 25. — Sailed the Ann Williams, Mary, and 
Pomona, for France for salt. 

Began to measure the houses in each street. 

August 26. — The Mary Ann, Matthew Daniel, lost in 
Bude Bay. Crew saved. 

August 27. — Thomas Quick, of Trevessa, fell from 
the main cap of the brig Minerva. 

August 30. — The brig Riviere was launched. 

September 4. — Sailed the Navarino for Liverpool. 

September 10. — A smack from North Wales for 
London, laden with wheat, went on shore near 
Gwithian. Crew saved. Also the Friends, of Penzance, 
James master, from Porlock with bark, ran on shore 
near Pednolver. Crew saved. Vessel got off next 
tide. Wind N., a strong gale. 

September 12. — A large boat went into Basset's Bay 
to speak the sloop Providence, of Plymouth, Honey 
master, with sails split, and riding with three anchors. 
She would accept of no assistance, although in such a 
dangerous situation, and afterwards rode out the gale. 

September 13. — The account received that six vessels 
have been lost near Padstow. 

September 20. — Two boats went in search of a vessel, 
the Agenora, of Neath, that was seen floating on the 
water the previous day. 

September 21. — During the past two months ten 
vessels have been lost between the Land's End and 
Padstow. This summer is thought, by aged people, to 
be the worst ever remembered for gales of wind. 

September 23. — Drift-boats, catches of mackerel, 
pilchards, scads, and herring. 

September 30. — Sailed the Sarah, of North Shields, 
George Henderson master, laden with coals, for 
London, having been under general repairs. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 201 

October 10. — The Quay sold to Vivian Stevens 
Williams for .£970. 

October 14. — John Phillips and his son came over the 
Bar from Hayle, and afterwards lost their mizzen-mast 
in the Bay. At midnight they ran on shore near 
Portreath. Both saved. 

October 26. — Sailed the Bideford, Mollard, for St. 
Michael's. 

October 27. — Sailed the Active, Matthews, for St. 
Michael's. 

October 29. — Sailed the Levant Packet, Percival, for 
Cardiff. 

January 14, 1830. — Some thousands of herring-sprat 
taken ; sold at 2d. per 100. 

January 18. — More than 200 gurries of sprat taken; 
sold for manure at 2s. 3d. to 2s. 9d. per gurry. 

January 20. — Wind N.E., a strong gale; the brig 
Jane, of Cardigan, was brought into the harbour with 
the assistance of the lugger Dolphin. 

January 21. — The pilots were awarded £j$ by the 
arbitrators for bringing in the brig Jane. 

January 26. — Two hundred gurries of sprat taken, 
and sold for manure. 

January 27. — The schooner Latona drifted out of 
the pier and went on shore near Gwithian. 

February 5. — A very heavy fall of snow. 

February 6. — Such falls of snow have not been ex- 
perienced for years past. 

February 9. — The Tenth Wesleyan Missionary 
Anniversary was held. 

February 12. — Sailed the Underkill, Richards, for 
Wales. 

February 23. — The Latona was floated and towed 
into port. 



202 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

March 5.— The owners of the Dolphin summoned to 
Penzance. 

March 12. — The Royalist, 16-gun brig, came into the 
Bay, took on board a lady and gentleman, and sailed 
for Liverpool. 

March 25. — Mackerel-boats went out for the first 
time for the season. 

March 26. — Some scores of people went on the rock 
Gowna, in Porthmeor, dry shod, a circumstance not 
before remembered by the oldest man in St. Ives. 

March 29. — The Portreath Preventive-men brought 
into this port a small boat belonging to a cutter, with 
two men and some tubs of spirit. 

April 8. — The brig Daniel was launched. 

April 9. — A great conversion among the Methodists. 

April 13. — Came into port a brig laden with linseed, 
from Trieste for Dunkirk, with Captain sick. 

April 16. — Boat Dolphin, 4,000 mackerel, sold at 28s. 
per hundred. 

April 2i. — Mr. James Anthony, Justice, died, aged 
ninety-three years. 

April 24. — Mr. Yonge, Mr. Hichens, Mr. Bazeley, 
and Mr. Tremearne chosen Aldermen of the borough ; 
and Mr. Edwin Lee the Recorder. 

April 28. — James Anthony, Esq., was interred in the 
church. 

May 2. — The Primitive Methodists held a camp- 
meeting on the Borough Green. 

May 9. — The Right Honourable Wellesley Long 
Pole arrived in town. 

May 11. — Mr. Wellesley made a very successful 
canvass. 

May 15. — A gentleman came to the hotel to inspect 
the property of the late Sir Christopher Hawkins. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 203 

May 20. — Mackerel 8s. per hundred. 

May 25. — Mr. Halse canvassed the town. 

May 28. — The fee property of the late Sir Christopher 
Hawkins sold in London to the Right Honourable 
Wellesley Long Pole for £57,250. 

June 2. — Reported that the property before men- 
tioned was purchased by the Marquess of Cleveland. 

A man fell from the fore-rigging of the Ann Williams, 
anchored in the Bay, pitched on the rail and into the 
water, and sank to rise no more. 

Death of George IV. 

June 28, 1830. — This post brought the news of the death 
of our beloved and peaceable Sovereign, George IV. 

July 5. — The Mayor and Aldermen proclaimed 
William IV. King of the British Empire, nine days 
from the death of George IV. 

George IV. was proclaimed in St. Ives fourteen days 
after the death of his father, George III. 

July 6. — Eclipse, Edward John master, came into the 
Bay, her first voyage from Swansea with coals. 

July 13. — Mr. Halse actively canvassed, and pur- 
chased a great many shares in Consols mine. 

July 16. — Mr. Halse using all possible machinations 
to turn the people from their words previously given. 

July 20. — Mr. Morrison canvassed the town. 

July 23. — The great bell was brought to St. Ives. 
Weight, 19 cwt. 2 qrs. 5 lbs.* 

* The " great bell " referred to is the familiar church bell still in 
use, which bears engraved upon it the names — 

"James Halse, Esq., M.P. 

" Matthew Major, \ 

" Thomas Teemearxe, Jan., L Church Wardens. 

"William Hichens, ) 

" Jas. Oatey, Fecit. 
" ()th June, 1830/' 



2o 4 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

The Election 

July 28, 1830. — The writs for the General Election 
were read. 

July 30. — Mr. Wellesley arrived in company with 
General Doyle. 

July 31. — The Right Honourable W. L. Wellesley 
left for Essex after making, at the Free School, a most 
excellent speech on the good conduct of the voters 
of St. Ives in general, and the diabolical, lying, in- 
sinuating, outrageous, and base plots and contrivances 
and oppressive means carried on against the poor by 
their opponent ; and the manner in which he (the 
Right Honourable) was used by the said opponent, 
after paying him ^4,000 and £500. 

August 4. — The poll commenced at 10 a.m. Wel- 



The smaller church bell, formerly called the "parson's bell," the 
sound of which is now rarely heard, bears engraved upon it — 

" Matthew Major, \ 

" Thomas Tremearne, Jun., I Church Wardens. 

" William Hitchens, ) 



" J as. Oatey, Maker 



" Copperhouse Foundry, 
" 9 June, 1830." 



The large bell has a piece broken out of the rim, and it is stated 
that an outer rim " as large as a cart-wheel " was broken from this 
bell many years ago. These two bells were cast from the metal of 
five other bells, which had previously hung in the church tower. It 
is not known by the present writer when these bells were placed in 
position, or by whom, but it is remembered by persons still living 
that one of the bells was cracked prior to 1830, and lay for some 
time in the belfry. This bell had engraved upon it the name of 

" Thomas Anthony, Mayor, 1721," 

and it is supposed that the bells were presented by the Mayor and 
other gentlemen at that time. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 205 

lesley, 217; Morrison, 181; Halse, 152. Thus ended 
the poll* 

August 5. — Mr. Morrison left for London. 

August 6. — A dinner was given to all the votes of 
Mr. Wellesley — 3s. 6d. per plate, and 6s. 6d. for the 
benefit of the house. 

August 16. — Mr. Hart's wooden house was launched. 

August 19. — One boat, 20,000 pilchards. 

August 21 to 27. — Drift-boats, large catches of pil- 
chards. 

September 1. — Bolitho Company shot a sean at the Poll. 

September 3. — Seven seans shot at the various stems; 
only two missed the fish. 

September 4. — Drift-boats, large catches. Four seans 
shot this morning. 

September 9. — Arrived the John Wesley, Emanuel 
Bryant, from Wales. Her first voyage. 

September 18. — One boat, 3,000 mackerel. 

September 28. — Four seans shot. 

September 30. — Herrings, pilchards, and mackerel 
taken on the drift. 

October 4. — Tremearne Company shot a sean at the 
Leigh. 

October 9. — Quay sold for £ 1,000. 

October 13. — Tremearne Company caught a shoal of 
herrings at the Leigh. 

October 26. — £35 taken out of the Poor Rate to pay 

* " By 1830 the feelings of the country were changed, and both 
the borough's members were Whigs. Halse did indeed make a 
gallant fight for one of the seats, but his struggle was in vain, 
for Mr. Wellesley Long Pole, re-appcaring after an absence of 
several years, and Mr. James Morrison, the senior partner and 
founder of Morrisons, of the Fore Street warehouse, carried every- 
thing before them." — W. P. Courtney : Parliamentary History of 
Cornwall. 



206 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

the constables chosen by the Mayor, Richard Hichens, 
Esq., to attend the late General Election, when they 
were not wanted. 

October 30. — Sailed the brig- Zion, with 950 hogs- 
heads ; the Thomas, Wearne, with 568 hogsheads ; the 
Mary, Harry, with 393 hogsheads; and the Grace, 
Mollard, with 397 hogsheads pilchards — all for the 
Mediterranean. 

November 2. — Market-house tolls sold for ,£107. 

November 8. — Sailed the Betsy, Couch, with 397 hogs- 
heads. 

November 16. — Sailed the Eclipse, Edward John, with 
578 hogsheads. 

November 18. — Sailed the Betsy, Tanner, and the 
Active, Matthews, both for St. Michael's. 

November 23. — Sailed the Pomona, Major, with 
318 hogsheads. 

November 28. — Arrived in the roads H.M. steam- 
packet Armenia, from Corfu, and landed the mails. 

November 29. — Sailed the brig Rapid, Rosewall, with 
704 hogsheads. 

November 30. — A great number of vessels that have 
been kept in port by the late S.W. gales sailed this 
day; 103 sail in all. 

December 2. — Came into port the Betsy, Tanner, 
after being fifteen days at sea bound to St. Michael's. 
Sailed the brig^4rc///m^s,with574hogsheads pilchards. 

December 3. — Sailed the brig Henry, with 571 hogs- 
heads. 

December 5. — Wind S. by E. One brig wrecked at 
Penzance, from the Brazils, laden with sugar. A man 
washed over the Quay and drowned. 

December 9. — Arrived the Lydia, Liberty, and two 
other vessels. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 207 

December 11. — Sailed the schooner Eldred, with 
510 hogsheads. 

December ij. — John Phillips and Sidney lost their 
boats, bound to Hayle, laden with manure. 

December 19. — Sailed the Jersey schooner, with 
452 hogsheads. 

December 20. — Wind N.E., a strong gale. A dis- 
masted vessel lying at anchor about quarter mile from 
Godrevy. She proved to be the Unity, of Jersey, laden 
with coals and earthenware. 

December 21. — The boat Dolphin took the Unity in 
tow and brought her into the pier. 

December 23. — Sailed the Polmanter for Figuera. 

Total pilchards exported to the Mediterranean this 
season from St. Ives, 6,412 hogsheads; twelve ships 
loaded here. 

January 10, 1831. — Arrived the Active, Matthews, 
from St. Michael's, in twelve days. 

January 13. — Sailed the Active for Barnstaple. 

January 14. — Sailed the Fly, Sampson, for Bristol, 
with wheat from Spain. 

January 17. — The schooner Jane, of Falmouth, laden 
with coals, sunk on Hayle Bar. 

January 24. — Sailed the Joint Wesley for Bilbao. 

February 3. — Sailed the Active, Matthews, and Fly, 
Sampson, for St. Michael's ; the Joseph, Wall, and 
Diligence, Hodge, for Bilbao for corn — 5s. 6d. per 
quarter freight. 

February 14. — Arrived the Thomas, Wearne, from 
the Mediterranean, with grain for Gloucester. All 
hopes of the safety of the Shylock, Captain Barber, 
have been given up. She sailed on the 31st January 
with copper-ore for Neath. 

February 18. — Sailed the Union for St. Michael's. 



208 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

February 22. — Sailed the Redruth, James Ninnis, and 
the Exchange, Stevens, for Bilbao for grain. 

February 27. — Three men interred to-day, aged re- 
spectively eighty-three, eighty-four, and eighty-five 
years 

March 10. — Arrived the Eclipse, Edward John, from 
Naples for Bristol with grain. 

March 22. — Mackerel-boats shoot for the first time 
for the season — 2,000 between ten boats. 

April 3. — Arrived the Grace, from Gallipoli, with oil 
for Gloucester. 

April 5. — Sailed the Redruth for London, laden with 
wheat from Bilbao. 

April 6. — Sailed the John Wesley for Liverpool. 

April 16. — Sailed the Maria, George Chellew, for 
La Rochelle, laden with coals. 

April 22. — Arrived a Brazilian ship, with 169 emi- 
grants and merchants. All landed here. 

Another Election 

April 25, 1831. — The Mayor, Richard Hichens, Esq., 
and the Town Clerk read the writs for a General 
Election. 

April 30. — At 9 a.m. the two candidates repaired to 
the Guild Hall, and after some time waiting, and no 
other candidate having come forward to cause an 
opposition, the votes present signified their intentions, 
by show of hands, that the two candidates proposed, 
James Halse, Esq., and Edward Lytton Bulwer, Esq., 
were dul} T and truly elected members to serve in 
Parliament.* 

* " In the Parliament which passed the Reform Bill the tradi- 
tional policy of the St. Ives electors re-asserted itself. Halse as the 
Tory, and Edward Lytton Bulwer as in the main a supporter of 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 209 

May 3. — Sailed the Brazilian ship, with Spanish 
refugees on board, bound for Brest, in France. 

May 5. — Nine men drawn to serve in the County 
Militia: Geo. Redfern, Sam. May, Mr. Burgess, Mr. 
Bevan, R. Curnow, Richard Lander, W. Penberthy, 
N. Cardew, and Morris. There has been no drawing 
for the six preceding years. 

May 7. — The Preventive-boat at St. Agnes took a 
small cutter with 120 kegs of spirits 

May 11. — Yesterday the polling at Lostwithiel 
commenced for the County candidates, Mr. W. W. 
Pendarves, Sir Charles Lemon, Sir Richard Vyvyan, 
and Lord Valetort. 

May 16. — The smugglers were condemned. 

May 19. — A little boy, aged four years, son of Parson 
Aldridge, w T as so dreadfully burnt by his clothes taking 
fire at the grate that he died in a few hours. 

June 9. — Six boats sailed for Ireland for the herring 
fishery.* 



Whig policy, were their members. Halse was, of course, a silent 
vote, and nothing more ; but Bulwer, the Tory Lord Lytton of later 
life, addressed the house several times on congenial subjects. Then 
in the hey-day of his Liberal feeling, his voice was the first to be 
heard in opposition to the proposal that the Reform Bill should be 
read six months later. If any elector for St. Ives in the year 1831 
should still be alive, he may recall with pride that the last of their 
Members, before the Reform Bill, was the illustrious author and dis- 
tinguished politician, Lord Lytton." — W. P. Couktxey : Parlia- 
mentary History of Cornwall. 

* " The Cornish fishermen carry on a considerable fishery for 
herrings on the coast of Ireland. This fishery was commenced in 
the year 1816 by a person of St. Ives called Noall. The attempt 
which was a bold one, succeeded. At first only two or three engaged 
in it ; the next year the number had increased to twelve. In 182 r 
(May) two boats sailed from Newlyn, and the success of these and 
the St. Ires boats was <c> great that the fishermen of Mouseholc 
were induced to commence it in 1823. The number has increased 



210 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

The Smugglers 

July 2, 1 83 1. — A smuggler, with ninety-nine tubs of 
spirits and a crew of six men, was captured by the 
Preventive-boat belonging to this station. 

July 13. — The smugglers were tried. One Frenchman 
cleared as a passenger, but the five Englishmen con- 
demned to imprisonment and a fine of £100 each. 

July 15. — Sailed the Jane, Quick, for La Rochelle. 

Our author's journey to Bodmin and back. July 30th, 
quitted St. Ives at 8 a.m. to go to Bodmin. On the 31st, 
hot weather ; rested all day at the Prince of Wales, 
two miles from Bodmin. On August 1st, arrived at 
Bodmin, and our case was ended at three o'clock. 
On the second of August left Bodmin at half-past two 
in the morning; arrived at Truro at 5.45 a.m., and at 
10 a.m. took part of a stage van to Redruth. Arrived 
there at 1 p.m., and left at 2 p.m. by Mr. John's van, and 
arrived at St. Ives at 7.30 p.m. 

August 3. — Two boats on the drift, 32,000 pilchards. 

August 17. — Five seans shot; drift -boats, large 
catches. 

August 20. — Purchased 500 bushels French salt, at 
is. 2^d. per bushel. 

August 22. — Arrived the Brothers, Mollard, from 
London, bound for Messina. 

August 26. — Arrived the Jane, Quick, from France, 
with salt. 

August 28 — Sunday. — Some thousands of hogsheads 
of fish passed through the stems, in consequence of 
the sean concerns having agreed not to fish on a 

every year. In 1836 and 1837 the boats were very successful, and 
brought home ^10,000 eacli season after paying the whole of their 
expenses." — Report, Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society, 1838. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 211 

Sunday. The fish were passing from 11 a.m. until 
7 p.m., when Mr. T. Tremearne put one of his boats 
to sea and caught a fine shoal of 600 hogsheads. 

August 29. — Drift-boats, very large catches. 

August 30. — Several seans shot ; Bolitho Company 
two fine shoals. 

September 2. — Sailed the Maria for France for salt. 

September 6. — Twenty seans shot : Bolitho six, 
Wearne five ; all caught fish. One sean, belonging 
to Bamfield, went round the Head. 

September 7 and 8. — Three seans shot at Carrack 
Gladden. 

September 15 and 18. — Arrived the Eclipse and Jane 
with salt. 

September 21. — Hichens Company shot a sean at the 
Leigh. 

September 25. — Arrived the Herald, steam-packet, on 
her first voyage from Bristol. 

September 26. — Bolitho shot at Porthminster. 

September 30. — Four seans shot ; a great number of 
vessels came into the pier. 

October 2. — Sailed about fifty ships to go round the 
land. 

October 3. — Arrived the Herald, steam-packet, her 
second voyage. 

October 5. — Sailed the steamer for Bristol. 

October 18. — Sailed the John Wesley for Ancona, with 
396 hogsheads pilchards. 

October 25. — Sailed the Lavinia, Rosewall, with 
800 hogsheads. 

October 29. — Sailed the Eclipse, with 597 hogsheads. 

November 5. — Sailed the Eldred, Matthews, with 
510 hogsheads ; the Betsy, Couch, with 400 hogsheads ; 
the Janet, Dysart, with 700 hogsheads ; the Thomas, 



212 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

Richards, with 591 hogsheads ; and the John Daniel, 
Richards, with 612 hogsheads — all for the Mediter- 
ranean. 

November 9. — Sailed the Jane, Quick, with 290 hogs- 
heads; Heligan, with 450 hogsheads ; and the Melanthon, 
with 800 hogsheads. 

November 17. — Sailed the Mary, Thomas Harry, with 
390 hogsheads pilchards. 

November '25. — Sailed the Briton, Lang, with 504 hogs- 
heads ; and the Nymph, with 600 hogsheads. 

November 26. — Bolitho's took a shoal of pilchards at 
Porthminster. Sailed the Tuscan, with 670 hogs- 
heads. 

November 29. — Sailed the Jane, with 394 hogsheads; 
and the Levant Packet, with 483 hogsheads. 

December 4. — Captain Moses Martin, of the Pre- 
ventive Service, with the assistance of the pilot-gigs 
and their crews, took a smuggler with 339 tubs of 
spirits and a crew of eight hands. 

December 5. — Sailed the Economy, Williams, with 
538 hogsheads pilchards. 

December 10. — Sailed the brig Eliza, of Scarbro', 
with 600 hogsheads ; and the Eagle, with 750 hogs- 
heads. 

Total quantity of pilchards exported from St. Ives 
to the Mediterranean this season, 11,075 hogsheads. 
This does not include the quantity sent to Penzance. 
Twenty vessels loaded here. 

December 14. — Arrived a ship from Quebec, laden 
with timber, for London, short of provisions and ver\ r 
leaky. 

January 6, 1832. — Came into port a Swedish 
schooner-brig from the Brazils, laden with coffee, 
rum, sugar, etc. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 213 

January n. — The Herald steamer towed into the 
harbour a schooner with fore-topmast gone. 

January 19. — Passed this port the Camilla, Edward 
Hain master, on her first voyage. 

January 27. — A great many vessels arrived from 
Wales. 

February 3. — The Sally, of London, went on shore 
at Portreath, laden with tallow, oil, logwood, etc. 

February 18. — The Betsy, Tanner master, was run 
down off Boscastle by the Jane and Sarah, Hicks 
master. 

March 1. — One of the pilot-gigs, when towing a 
smack over Hayle Bar, was filled by a heavy sea, and 
her crew of six men precipitated into the ocean. John 
Lander and his son, who were fishing in the Bay, being- 
alarmed by the cries, rowed towards the Bar, and fell 
in with four of the crew, some on oars, and one on the 
bottom of the gig. Three of them were preserved — 
viz., Isaac Thomas, John Jacobs, and a stranger belong- 
ing to Ilfracombe ; but one, Richard Humphries, was 
drowned. After their arrival in the pier another gig 
was manned, and to the westward of Carrack Gladden 
fell in with Michael Welch, lying drowned upon two 
oars. The other man swam to the smack, and, although 
given up for drowned, arrived home at ten o'clock. 

March 4. — No less than six persons lying dead in 
the parish of St. Ives. 

March 6. — Arrived the Jane, from Messina, with 
fruit for Copenhagen. 

March 21. — The day appointed by Royal Proclama- 
tion for a general fast, and it was to all appearance 
more solemnized than the Sabbath by the whole of 
the inhabitants. No one working, neither any shops 
open for business, to the great credit of our town. 



2i 4 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

April 2. — They began to take down the old Market 
House, built 1490* 

April 5. — Arrived the Herald, steamer, from Bristol. 

April 20. — A sermon was preached at Halsetown on 
behalf of the new Wesleyan Chapel. 

April 26. — The first worked stone was laid in the 
new Market House. 

May 31. — Four boats sailed for Ireland. 

June 4. — The Herald, steamer, left on an excursion 
to Penzance and the Scilly Islands. 

June 18. — Mr. Richard Hichens canvassed for James 

* " In the year 1832 it was found that the dilapidated state and 
inconvenient structure and want of accommodation of or in the 
Market House, Town Hall, and town jail or prison, with reference 
to the increasing population of the borough, and to the administra- 
tion of law and justice, and the due maintenance of good order, 
having rendered it expedient that the same should be taken down 
and rebuilt upon a more extended scale, and it having been 
estimated that the cost of so doing would amount to the sum of 
^800, a general meeting or assembly of the Corporation was held 
at the residence of the Mayor, Walter Yonge, Esq., to take these 
matters into due consideration, and it was resolved to accept the 
offer of James Halse, Esq., made on behalf of Edwin Ley, Esq., to 
lend to the Corporation the sum of ^800, with interest at 5 per cent, 
per annum ; and it was further resolved to accept the offer of James 
Halse, Esq., that he would forthwith present the Corporation with 
the sum of .£100 as a free gift towards the reduction of the said sum 
of ;£8oo, and the documents giving effect to the above were duly 
executed at the meeting. Present : 

" Walter Yonge, Mayor, 
" Richard Hichexs, Justice, 
" James Halse, 
" William Bazeley, 
" Thomas Tremearxe, 
" William Bazeley, Jun., 
"William Hichexs, 
" John Chellew." 

From the Corporation Records. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 215 

Halse, Esq., for the election under the New Reform 
Act. 

June 21. — The Fame, John Stevens, carried away 
her foremast. 

July 2. — The sloop Truro, of London, seized by Mr. 
Moses Martin, Coast-guard officer, with 100 tubs and 
a crew of five men, off Gurnard's Head. 

July 8. — Mr. Croker, a London traveller, was thrown 
out of his gig. The horse was brought to Mr. Burgess's 
at 1 1 p.m., when search was made, and Mr. Croker was 
found at 5 a.m. dead in a ditch on the road between 
St. Ives and Lelant. 

July 13. — Sailed the Caroline for Quebec. 

July 15. — Sailed the Phoebe for Quebec. 

July 21. — Mr. Halse arrived in the Herald steamer. 

July 24. — Two drift-boats, 2,000 and 11,000 pilchards. 
Four seans put in. 

July 2j. — Sailed the John Wesley for Isle de Re for 
salt. Eight seans put in. 

July 30. — Sailed the Jane, Quick, for Croisic for salt. 
The seaners went into pay. 

August 18. — Sailed the Thomas, Richards, and the 
Joseph, Williams, for France for salt. 

August 22. — Arrived the Mary, Harry, from Croisic, 
with salt. 

August 23. — Arrived the John Wesley with salt. 

August 27. — Bolitho and Wearne each shot a sean. 

August 28. — The first case of cholera, which termi- 
nated in death. 

August 29. — Strong gale N.N.W. The two seans 
shot were partly destroyed by the sea and taken up 
yesterday. 

August 30. — Tremcarne took a shoal of fish at 
Carrack Gladden. 



216 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

August 31. — Nine seans shot, but only three caught 
fish : small shoals. 

September 1. — Eight seans shot at the different stems, 
all caught fish except Hichens and Co. 

September 2. — Hichens and Co. shot two seans. 

September 11. — The fair at Halsetown. 

September 13. — Sailed the Jane, Quick, for Croisic for 
salt. 

September 19. — Arrived the John Daniel from Cork. 

September 26. — Fish sold at 38s. 6d. per hogshead. 

September 27. — Since the cholera has been raging 
prayers have been regularly said at the Wesleyan 
Chapel every Monday and Thursday, service in the 
church every Wednesday, and prayer-meetings at the 
Primitives every Friday. 

October 12. — A large steam-vessel passed the Head. 

October 18. — Sailed the brig Favourite, of Penzance, 
with 650 hogsheads pilchards for Venice. 

October 19. — Arrived the Shepherdess, of Bideford, to 
load fish. 

October 21. — Sailed the brig Earl Grey, of Yarmouth, 
with 600 hogsheads. 

October 25. — Sailed the Shepherdess, with 650 hogs- 
heads, and the Mary, Thomas Harry, with 398 
hogsheads. 

October 27. — Sailed the schooner Adelaide, of Yar- 
mouth, with 430 hogsheads. 

October 29. — Sailed the Jane, Quick, with 290 hogs- 
heads for Genoa. Arrived the Rosewall, from Oporto, 
in ballast. 

October 30. — Six persons dead in Penzance with the 
cholera. 

October 31. — Sailed the Hiram, with 600 hogsheads. 

November 1. — William Bazeley, Esq., the elder, 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 217 

chosen Mayor by the Aldermen, or so it is reported. 
None of the inhabitants were permitted to assemble at 
the time, an ancient custom refused them. 

November 2. — Sailed the brig Comet, of Yarmouth, 
with 650 hogsheads. 

November 5. — The brig Perseverance, of Newcastle, 
laden with salt from Liverpool, ran on shore on Hayle 
Bar. Crew saved, except one boy : vessel a total wreck. 

November 6. — Sailed the schooner Nymph, with 660 
hogsheads, for the Mediterranean, and the Diligence for 
St. Michael's. 

November 7. — Sailed the Joseph and the Navarino for 
the Western Isles. 

November 8. — Sailed the brig Palmer, of Yarmouth, 
with 700 hogsheads pilchards. 

November 12. — Sailed the Ann Williams, with 
330 hogsheads. 

November 14. — Sailed the Liverpool Packet, with 650 
hogsheads, also the Commerce, Tremearne, for Newquay. 

November 17. — Sailed the Sir Burchell Wray with 
450 hogsheads. 

November 21. — This day was entirely set apart for a 
general thanksgiving, by order of the Mayor, in 
compliance with a requisition made by the principal 
inhabitants. All the shops are closed and all labour 
suspended for the day. This is done to offer prayers 
to the Great Head of all for His good and gracious 
blessing bestowed upon us as a town, highly favoured 
and miraculously preserved from that direful and 
pestilential calamity the cholera, by which our Kingdom 
and the neighbouring towns have been so sorely 
afflicted. 

November 23. — Sailed the Roselle with 325 hogsheads 
pilchards. 



218 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

November 24. — Arrived the Eldred, Matthews, from 
Cardiff for London. 

December 1. — Sailed the Rosewall, Rosewall, with 
526 hogsheads ; the Camilla, Hain, with 540 hogsheads ; 
the Naples Packet, French, with 880 hogsheads ; the 
Packet, with 700 hogsheads — all for the Mediterranean. 
Also sailed the Fidelity, Rowe, for St. Michael's ; the 
Eldred, for London ; Grace, for Plymouth ; Maria, for 
the Mount ; Tryphena, for Plymouth ; and the Martial, 
for London. 

December 6. — Mr. Praed made a public speech at the 
Hotel. 

Drift-boats, 5,000 pilchards. 

December 7. — Great quantities of fish have passed. 

The writ was publicly read for a General Election. 

December 9. — A great many thousands of hogsheads 
of pilchards taken in the Mount's Bay. 

December 10. — Sailed the Union, Trevorrow, on her 
first voyage. 

An Election 

December 11, 1832. — Poll commenced at 9 a.m. 
Candidates, Henry Lewis Stephens, Esq., James 
Halse, Esq., and Winthrop Mackworth Praed, Esq. 
The first election for the United Borough of St. Ives, 
Lelant and Towednack, returning one Member under 
the New Reform Act, 1832. 

December 12. — Poll closed ; Mr. Halse declared duly 
elected. Halse, 302; Praed, 168; Stephens, 39. Mr. 
Praed immediately commenced an active canvass. 

December 29. — The Gipsy, of Plymouth, and her 
crew lost near Hocking's Cove. 

December 31. — Came into port the Providence, Active, 
Tom Bowline, Triton, and Gannet. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 219 

Total number of hogsheads of pilchards exported to 
the Mediterranean from St. Ives this season, 10,029. 

January 9, 1833. — Arrived the Jane Russell from 
Bristol, with general goods for Truro, and the Bristol 
Packet with general goods for Dartmouth. 

January 10. — Arrived the Diligence, Rowe, from 
London. At 8 p.m. the boat belonging to this vessel 
was capsized by the surf, and the Captain, mate, 
and two of the crew were thrown into the water. 
By the exertions of a man in a small boat, three of 
them were rescued, but the mate, John Gyles, was 
drowned. 

Also arrived the St. Austell, Grenfell, from Newport 
for Fowey, with coals. 

February 8. — News received of the loss of the 
Rosewall on the Isle of Corsica. 

Sailed the Lydia, Stevens, for Wales. 

February 9. — Sailed a large number of vessels. 

February 18. — Arrived the Britannia, Commerce, Kite, 
and Mary Ann, all coal-laden. 

February 19. — Arrived the Fanny, Sandow, from the 
Mount. Sailed the John Wesley with copper-ore. 

February 20. — A tremendous gale N.W. The Peggy, 
of Newport, lost near St. Agnes. One man drowned, 
and the boy had his leg broken. 

February 21. — A vessel with masts gone descried at 
anchor about four miles off Pentowan. A gig boarded 
her at 2 p.m. 

February 22. — The vessel mentioned, a Portuguese 
from Waterford in ballast, was brought into the 
harbour. The Captain, mate, and four of the crew 
left for the shore in the boat to gain assistance, only 
two men and a boy remaining on board. The Captain 
and others arrived overland from St. Agnes. 



220 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

February 22. — A large number of vessels arrived 
and sailed. 

February 23. — A meeting was held at the Free 
School to petition Parliament to do away with the 
select vestry, and other abuses in this borough. 

February 26. — Arrived the Diligence, Rowe, from 
St. Michael's, in thirteen days. 

March 5. — A large number of vessels sailed from this 
port and Hayle. The wind suddenly flew to the north, 
with a strong gale. Over twenty vessels put back, 
some to St. Ives, others went round the land. 

March 6. — A schooner was observed to founder 
about two leagues from St. Ives, and soon afterwards 
the ship's boat was seen flying a handkerchief on an 
oar. The Dolphin put to sea, and brought them safe to 
land. 

The schooner proved to be the Good Statesman, of 
Brixham, Captain Buckingham, which sailed from 
Hayle the previous evening with ninety-four tons 
copper-ore for Wales. 

March 8. — Arrived H.M. cutter Sparrow from 
Swansea. 

March 12 and 13. — Sailed the Welsh fleet, twenty- 
nine sail, and H.M. cutter Sparrow. 

March 16. — Arrived the Twin Brothers, Captain Bull, 
from Norway. 

March 19. — The smack Gipsy got on shore after 
leaving St. Ives. 

March 21. — Arrived several vessels from Wales. 

March 26 — One drift-boat, 450 mackerel. 

March 27 and 28. — A large fleet sailed for Wales. 

April 2. — Boats, from 500 to 2,000 fine mackerel. 

April 4. — Sailed the Phoebe, Richards, for North 
America. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 221 

April 10. — Boats, good catches of mackerel, 50,000 in 
all. Sailed the Chyandour, Hain, for Plymouth. 

April 11. — Over twenty vessels arrived and sailed. 

April 18. — A man sent to Bodmin on the charge of 
stealing tin from Consols Mine. 

April 19. — Boats, large catches of mackerel; price 
10s. per hundred. 

April 23. — Arrived the Chyandour, Hain, from Ply- 
mouth. 

April 24. — Arrived the Goytree, Noall, from Wales. 

April 30. — Arrived the Jane, Quick, from Messina, 
with fruit for Dublin, in forty-eight days. 

May 7. — Arrived the Morton, her first voyage, from 
Wales. 

May 12. — Arrived the Commerce, Tremearne, from 
Liverpool. 

May 30. — Boats, from 1,000 to 3,000 mackerel. 

June 3. — Fine rain, which was much desired. The 
month of May was so hot that it was never known 
to be finer or hotter in these latitudes. 

June 5. — Mrs. Mary Hichens was interred in the 
church. 

June 17. — Left St. Ives for llfracombe ; remained at 
Barnstable and Bideford from the 18th to 29th; em- 
barked on board the Herald steamer at llfracombe, and 
landed at St. Ives on the 30th. 

July 5. — Arrived the Richard, Couch, from Pad- 
stow. 

July 6. — Arrived the Morton, Despatch, and Maria. 

July 13. — Drift-boats, from 2,000 to 3,000 fine 
pilchards. 

July 18. — Sailed the Agnes, Jane, and Mary, for 
Croisic for salt; arrived the Industrie for Hayle, with 
timber from Norway. 



222 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

July 19. — Arrived the Phoebe from Quebec, in twenty- 
eight days. 

July 20. — The Lively, of Yarmouth, towed in by the 
Susan, with fore and main topmasts gone. 

July 29. — Arrived the Thomas, Unity, and Mary, from 
Croisic with salt. 

The seaners went into pay. 

July 31. — Arrived the Jane from Croisic. 

August 12. — Harvest commenced in this parish. 

Sailed the Jane for Croisic. 

August 20. — Drift-boats, good catches of pilchards. 

Arrived the brig Caroline, Captain Tom Daniel, from 
Quebec, in twenty-five days, with timber for this port. 

August 26. — Three seans shot, two caught fish. 

August 27. — Tremearne caught a shoal at Pednolver. 

August 30. — Arrived the Jane from Croisic with salt. 

September 2. — Hichens took a small shoal at Carrack 
Gladden. Bolitho shot at Porthminster and missed. 

September 5. — Wearne and Co. caught a small shoal. 

September 6. — Sailed the Caroline, Daniel; also H.M. 
Revenue cutter Viper, on a cruise. 

September 10. — Halsetown fair. 

September 19. — Bolitho shot at the Poll. 

September 20. — Wearne and Co. shot on sprat. 

October 2. — Arrived two French vessels with salt. 

A Special Commissioner sat in the Guild Hall to 
investigate the Corporation. 

October 6. — Arrived the Edwin, Matthews, from 
Wales : her first voyage. 

October 10. — Quay dues sold to Mr. Roger Wearne 
for £965, or ^130 more than last year. 

October 14. — Sailed the Levant Packet with 670 hogs- 
heads for Naples, belonging to several adventurers, 
sean and drift. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 223 

October 15. — The Levant Packet came back into the 
harbour : a very heavy gale, W. by N., with a tre- 
mendous surf. The Harmony, repairing on the blocks, 
was washed down, and some of the fishing-boats totally 
destroyed. 

October 19. — Sailed the Levant Packet, also the 
Thomas, Richards, with 590 hogsheads. 

October 23. — Boats on the drift, 1,000 to 7,000 mackerel. 

October 24. — The boats have brought on shore up- 
wards of 70,000 mackerel, selling at 12s. 6d. to 15s. 
per hundred. One of the small boats, when coming 
up along shore from the Western Carrack, is supposed 
to have foundered about 3 a.m. in a heavy squall, with 
her crew of four young men — viz., Henry Polmeor, 
David Polmeor, Richard Hodge, and Garland Hain. 
One of them was heard in the water by the crew of 
another boat, who tacked several times in the endeavour 
to pick him up, but they could not reach him, and he 
hailed them for the last time, saying, " I can do no 
more." It is conjectured that the boat had too great a 
quantity of fish on board for her size. Wind S.S.E., 
a strong gale. 

October 25 to 30. — Drift-boats, large catches of 
mackerel. The Mount's Bay boats have come round 
to fish here. 

November 1. — William Bazeley, Jun., Mayor for the 
ensuing year. 

November 5. — The body of a man picked up, supposed 
to be David Polmeor. 

November 13. — The Lovely Emma was launched. She 
is the largest and finest-modelled vessel ever built 
here: 170 tons register. 

November 14. — Wearne and Co. shot at Carrack 
Gladden. 



224 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

November 17.— Five seans shot : over 3,000 hogsheads 
taken. 

November 30. — The wreck of a vessel, the Mary Ann, 
of Stronoway, laden with timber, supposed from the 
Baltic, came on shore on the Wrass Point. 

December 13. — Report received that the Providence, 
W. Veal master, from St. Ives for Swansea, with copper- 
ore, was wrecked near Tenby. Crew saved. 

January 2, 1834. — Arrived a Dutch galliot from 
Surinam, laden with cotton and sugar. 

January 4. — Augustus Stephens, Esq., Collector of 
Customs, died. Matthew Daniel drowned at Port- 
reath. 

January 10. — Arrived the Diligence, Rowe, from 
Seville for Liverpool, twenty days on passage. A 
tremendous ground sea coming on shore. 

January 15. — Arrived the Saltern Rock, Mollard, in 
thirty-six days from New York, with mate and one of 
the crew lost overboard. 

January 17. — Up to the present we have had nothing 
but gales of wind and rain for nine weeks. Some 
vessels have been wind-bound in Wales more than 
eleven weeks. 

January 20. — Sailed the Emma with 890 hogsheads 
pilchards, but came back again, having carried away 
her main truss, and very leaky. 

January 30. — Sailed for the Mediterranean: the 
Emma, with 890 hogsheads ; Heligan, 446 hogsheads ; 
Mary, 398 hogsheads; Amity, 430 hogsheads; and Mary 
and Eliza, with 450 hogsheads pilchards. 

January 31. — Arrived several ships. 

February 11. — Wind N.N.W. Sailed the whole of 
the wind-bound vessels for their several destinations 
coastwise, also the Amity and Mary for the Medi- 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 225 

terranean with fish, the third time of their sailing from 
this port. Arrived and gone into Hayle a great many 
of the Welsh fleet ; some of them have been up Channel 
lor fourteen weeks. 

February 13. — Sailed the Trefusis, with 439 hogsheads. 

February 1 5. — Sailed the Sterling, with 500 hogsheads. 

Total export of pilchards from St. Ives to the Medi- 
terranean this season, 4,813 hogsheads. 

February 21. — Sailed the Nederland, Dutch galliot, for 
Amsterdam. Her repairs here have cost £737. 

February 28. — News received of the death of Samuel 
Stevens, Esq., of Tregenna. 

March 1. — Fourteenth Wesleyan Missionary Anni- 
versary Meeting held in the chapel. Chair taken by 
Mr. Joseph Carne. Collection amounted to £57. 

April 18. — Boats, good catches of mackerel. 

June 10. — The schooner James was launched after 
being lengthened. 

July 3. — Arrived the French sloop Active, from 
Croisic, with salt. 

July 19. — A great number of vessels came into the 
pier, and others anchored in the roads. 

July 25. — One drift-boat, 4,000 pilchards. 

Negro Emancipation 

August 1, 1834. — This day the whole of the black 
population in the British possessions are to be emanci- 
pated, to the number of 800,000. All the shops are 
closed throughout the town, and prayer meetings held 
and sermons preached on the occasion. 

August 6. — Four drift-boats, 28,000 pilchards. 

August 21. — Arrived the Caroline, Daniel, from 

Quebec, laden with timber for this port. Thirty-six 

days' passage. 

'5 



226 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

September 8. — Sailed the Caroline for North America, 
and Fidelity for Seville. The schooner Castor was 
towed into the pier with loss of foremast and bow- 
sprit, having been in collision with another vessel. 

September g. — Sailed the schooner Fly for Seville. 
The Morton towed in the mast and bowsprit of the 
Castor, and proceeded on her voyage to Wales. 

September 16. — St. Ives' Regatta commenced at 1 1 a.m. 

October 3. — Some playing shoals of fish appeared in 
the Bay. 

October 7. — Drift-boats, good catches of mackerel. 
Bolitho's shot a seine and missed. 

October 8. — Drift-boats, seventeen in number, landed 
£100 worth of mackerel. 

Sailed the Catherine, Toms, for Portreath ; Morton, 
Morton, and John, Noall, for Wales. 

October 9. — Sailed the Edwin, Matthews, for Wales. 

October 10. — Arrived the Brittania, Leddra, and Gem, 
Mollard, from Wales. 

October 21. — Sailed the Active, Jennings, for St. 
Michael's, and the Pendarvis for Messina. 

Quay dues sold to Mr. Roger Wearne for £950. 

October 22. — Arrived the Ann, Mollard, Maria and 
Betsy, Rouse, and John, Noall. 

October 24. — A large shoal of fish appeared in the 
Bay. 

October 29. — Hichens and Co. shot at the Leigh 

November 2. — Hichens and Tremearne caught small 
shoals. 

November 3. — Market-tolls sold to Mr. George Wasley 

ior £ ISO- 
November 7.— A heavy gale W.S.W. ; much damage 

to houses. 

November 8.— Nine seans shot at various stems. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 227 

Estimated quantity : Hichens, 3,000 hogsheads ; 
Wearne, 2,000; Bolitho's, 1,500; and Bamfield, 500; 
in all, 7,000 hogsheads. 

A most beautiful lunar rainbow appeared. 

November 10. — Wind N.E., blowing a strong gale. 
All the seans shot are destroyed, and the fish lost. 

November 12. — Four seans shot at Pednolver and 
Cam Crowse. 

November 13. — Hichens and Co. caught a fine shoal 
at Cam Crowse. The wind freshened, with a heavy 
sea on the low water. All the seans were torn to 
pieces, and the fish again lost. 

November 18. — A fine shoal offish passed deep. 

November 19. — Some thousands of hogsheads of 
pilchards passed in one large shoal. Six seans shot 
at the various stems. 

November 25. — A great many seans shot at different 
stems, and some thousands of hogsheads enclosed. 

December 8. — Wearne and Co. took up the last of 
their fish caught on November 25. This is the largest 
quantity ever remembered to be enclosed in one sean. 

January 1, 1835. — Sailed the Superior, with 375 hogs- 
heads ; the Levant Packet, with 650 hogsheads ; and the 
John, with 663 hogsheads, for the Mediterranean. 

January 3. — The writs for a General Election were 
read. 

January 7. — Polling day. James Halse, Esq., elected 
without opposition, this being the fourth time he has 
been elected for this borough. 

January 8. — Sailed the Eclipse, with 585 hogsheads ; 
Eliza and Nanny, with 490 hogsheads ; and Edmund, 
with 474 hogsheads pilchards, for the Mediterranean. 

January 17. — Sailed the Brothers, Welch, with i*]6 
hogsheads. 



228 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

January 19. — A heavy gale. The Underbill, Richards, 
went on shore on St. Michael's Mount. 

February 6. — A meeting of the inhabitants was held 
in the Town Hall, to take into consideration the best 
method of lighting the town with gas. 

February 10. — Sailed the Rapid and Eagle for the 
Mediterranean with pilchards. 

February 13. — A meeting of the Gas Company was 
held in the Town Hall to take into consideration the 
various resolutions, and to elect a Committee. The 
members appointed were Messrs. William Bazeley, 
Jun., Richard Hichens, William Hichens, James 
Young, T. Shaw, George Williams, James Stevens, and 
William Trewhella, with Mr. Roger Wearne, Mayor, 
Treasurer; and John T. Short, Secretary. 

February 21. — Mr. Eldred Roberts, Lieutenant 
R.N., Steward to the late Sir Christopher Hawkins, 
Bart., died this day. 

The total quantity of pilchards exported to the 
Mediterranean from St. Ives this season has been 
12,739 hogsheads, the largest quantity since 1816. The 
prices realized ranged from 32s. to 56s. per hogshead. 
Twenty-three vessels loaded at this port. Fifty-eight 
hogsheads remain in store for want of ship-room, and 
eight hogsheads were sent to Penzance. 

February 24. — A meeting of the Gas Committee was 
held in the Town Hall to consider a petition to James 
Morrison, Esq., for a plot of ground on the bank near 
Porthmeor Beach, on which to erect the proposed Gas 
Works. 

March 3. — Mr. Batten's seans sold at Penzance. 

March 10. — The Fifteenth Wesleyan Missionary 
Anniversary. Total collection, £74, being £16 more 
than Penzance. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 229 

March 13. — Arrived the Edwin, Matthews, from 
Oporto for Bristol ; twelve days' passage. 

March 17. — A meeting of the Gas Company was held 
in the Town Hall, when it was agreed to take the plot 
of ground in the meadow. 

April 2. — The Gas Company took possession of the 
piece of ground. 

News received from Mr. Halse, in London, of the 
loss of the Halsetown, William Hodge master, at the 
mouth of the River Ebro. 

April 3. — One boat, 650 mackerel ; sold at 19s. per 
hundred. 

April 20. — Arrived the Superior, from Leghorn for 
Liverpool, in twenty-six days. 

April 29. — A strong gale N.E. A French sloop came 
on shore under the churchyard, but got off the next 
tide. Weather as cold as at any time during the past 
winter. 

May 13. — A meeting of the inhabitants was held in 
the Town Hall to consent to a petition being forwarded 
to Mr. Pyne, solicitor, to the Hon. W. L. Wellesley, in 
order to obtain a grant for free intercourse through the 
Terrace as a public road ; and also to request permis- 
sion to cut through any of his lands for the purpose of 
making the new road now under contemplation.* 

* The old road from the village of Trelyon to St. Ives formerly 
ran through what is called Love Lane, at Tregenna, and over the 
brow of the hill through the Park to the Vow Cot, and continued 
along the Talland Road at the back of the Terrace, entering the 
town by the very steep hill, passing the entrance to Tregenna 
Terrace. The present road, still called by old inhabitants the 
" New Road," was cut at considerable cost, the following gentle- 
men contributing : James Halse, Esq., M.P., £100 ; William Praed, 
Esq., of Trevethoe, ^ioo ; Lewis Stephens, Esq., of Tregenna, £100 ; 
and Sir Davies Gilbert, ,£50. The portion of the old road from 
Love Lane to the Vow Cot was incorporated with Tregenna Park. 



2 3 o PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

May 19. — The foundation of the Gas Works was 
laid by Camborne masons, the St. Ives' masons having 
demanded one-third more money to carry out the 
work. 

May 22. — Received from the Sally, John Thomas 
master, 636 pipes for the Gas Works. 

May 26. — Arrived the Superior, from Liverpool, 
bound to Bayonne with rice. 

June 19. — Arrived the Jasper, Jasper Williams master, 
from Cardiff, laden with iron for the Mediterranean ; 
her first voyage. 

June 22. — Began to open the streets for the gas- 
pipes. 

July 14. — Sailed the William the Fourth for Virginia, 
with a great number of passengers. 

July 19. — Arrived the Brittania, from Croisic, with 
salt. 

July 20.— Arrived the brig Caroline, Daniel, from 
Quebec in thirty-three days, with timber for this port. 

July 22. — Two men drowned — Richard Grenfell and 
John Daniel. Their boat filled with the sea. 

July 24. — Towed into the Roads the smack Sisters, 
of Ilfracombe, dismasted. 

August 3. — The seaners went into pay. Total 

For some years the Terrace, from Mr. Pyne's house to the town, 
was kept as a private road, closed by a gate ; but the request con- 
tained in the petition mentioned above being granted, the gate was 
removed, and the Terrace thrown open to the public. The Terrace 
was constructed by Sir Christopher Hawkins several years before 
the New Road was made. The Bishop of Exeter, when he visited 
this part of his diocese in 1831, after he had passed all around the 
coast, said that " in all Cornwall he had seen nothing besides so 
beautiful as the view from Sir Christopher Hawkins's Terrace at 
St. Ives." It is a great pity that in recent years buildings have been 
erected on the sea-side of the New Road, thus obstructing and 
spoiling the magnificent view from this lovely promenade. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 231 

number of seans, 132 : Bolitho's, 41 ; Hichens' Company, 
42 ; Wearne's, 29 ; Sharemen Company, 12 ; Hocking, 8. 
This is the largest number of seans ever belonging to 
this port until the present date, and is over 100 more 
than there is occasion for. 

August 8. — Sailed the Caroline, Daniel, for Quebec. 

August 2i. — Some shoals of pilchards passed deep 
this morning, the first seen for the season. 

August 25. — Began to lay gas-pipes in the streets. 

September 1. — Hockings' shot at Cam Crowse, but 
missed the fish. 

September 18. — Drift-boats, large catches of pilchards. 

September 22. — Penzance Regatta put off for a month 
on account of the weather. 

September 25. — Drift-boats, pilchards and mackerel. 

September 27. — Two seans shot at Porthminster, and 
one at the Leigh ; the latter a fine shoal. 

September 28. — Sailed the Herald, steamer, Vivian, 
for Bristol. 

September 29. — A meeting of the inhabitants was 
held in the Town Hall to consider the advisability 
of lighting the town with gas, which was approved of 
by all, with the exception of one man.* 

October 4. — Hichens shot at Porthminster. Drift- 
boats, good catches mackerel. 

* It was doubtless this minority of " one man " who expressed his 
contempt for the proceedings in the following verse, which we 
also take from the old diary : 

" 'Tis well for us the Sun and Moon 

Are up so very high, 
That no presumptuous hand can reach 

To pluck them from the sky. 
If 'twere not so, I do not doubt 

But some Reforming Ass 
Would soon propose to snuff them out, 

And litiht the World with Gas !" 



232 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

October 7. — Two seans shot ; two went round the 
Head. 

October 8. — Bolitho and Hichens each caught a large 
shoal. 

October 9. — P^ive seans shot. 

The Quay dues sold for the coming year for 
^"1,115 to Harvey and Co. and the Copperhouse 
Company. 

October 11. — Wind N.N.E., a strong gale. Bolitho's, 
three seans ; Hocking's, one sean ; Hichens, one sean ; 
Wearne, one sean — supposed to contain in all 4,000 
hogsheads — all torn in pieces and thrown on shore on 
Carrack Gladden Beach. 

October 15. — Fine shoals of pilchards passed deep; 
two seans shot and missed. 

October 16. — Drift-boats, catches of mackerel, sold at 
16s. per hundred ; pilchards sold at is. 6d. per hundred ; 
and herring sold at 4s. per hundred. 

October 19. — Hichens and Co. caught 1,800 hogsheads 
at Pednolver. 

October 28. — Drift-boats, herrings, pilchards, and 
mackerel. 

November 2. — Eleven seans shot : Bolitho's, five ; 
Hichens, two; Wearne's, three; Hocking's, one. En- 
closed in all 8,000 hogsheads. 

November 19. — Several shoals of fish passed. 

Sailed the Sir Walter Scott, with 238 hogsheads 
pilchards for the Mediterranean. 

November 29. — Sailed the John, Adair, with 571 
hogsheads. 

December 8 — The boats picked up at sea several 
articles, supposed to be part of the cargo of the Active, 
of Penzance, that foundered near the Land's End on 
her voyage from Havre de Grace to Liverpool. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 233 

Sailed the Jasper, Williams, with 600 hogsheads for 
Venice. 

December 9. — Two men in a small boat came into the 
harbour, having left their vessel, the Le Hereaux, 
bound from Guernsey for Portreath with a cargo of 
apples. 

December 21. — The town was lighted with gas for 
the first time with a most brilliant light. Much credit 
is due to Mr. Richard Richards, of Camborne, the 
Superintendent of the Works, under whose manage- 
ment the whole has been constructed. 

Total export of pilchards this season, 8,583 hogs- 
heads ; sixteen vessels loaded here. 

January 22, 1836. — News received of the loss of the 
Fly, Alexander Sampson master, near Ramsgate, laden 
with fruit, homeward bound from the Western 
Isles. 

January 26. — The first open vestry, according to the 
Reform Act. 

February 3. — Arrived the John Harvey, St. Ives, 
Fidelity, and Union, the latter with considerable damage 
and loss of anchors. The Fanny, Sandow master, lost 
near Newquay. Crew drowned. A heavy gale N.E. 

March 1. — According to the new Municipal Reform 
Act, Francis Jenkyn and Thomas Rosewell, jun., were 
chosen assessors ; and Almond T. Hocking and W. Pye 
Thomas, auditors. 

March 2. — Sailed the Ocean, Superior, and Morton. 

March 13. — Mr. John G. Wearne, one of the new 
Council, died this day, aged thirty-five. 

March 27. — A heavy gale N.E. Several vessels in 
the pier received damage, a number of houses 
damaged, and a gig on Porthgwidden Beach blown 
over and injured. 



234 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

April 13. — Two drift-boats, 800 mackerel each. Sold 
to the skiffs for 20s. per hundred. 

April 28. — Sailed the Two Brothers, Bull, for Norway. 

May 6. — Drift-boats, from 500 to 2,000 mackerel. 
Sold at 17s. per hundred. 

Sailed the Bicton, Thomas, Brothers, Welch, and 
Chyandour, Hain. 

July 8. — The Norwegians rowed the St. Ives' men in 
six-oared gigs for .£10, to Hayle Bar and back. The 
former beat the townsmen by a considerable distance, 
winning the wager. This is the second time the 
St. Ives' men have been beaten by the Norwegians. 

July 9. — James Halse, Esq., and his lady arrived 
from London, via Bristol, in the Herald steamer. 

July 17. — Sailed the Brandwine, packet, John Barn- 
borough master, for London, laden with iron, having 
been caulked, and 100 tons iron discharged to ascertain 
damage. Cost of repairs, £157. 

July 25. — The virgins danced round Knill's Steeple, 
according to custom every five years. 

August 1. — Arrived the Phoebe, from North America. 

August 4. — Arrived the Thomas, Toms, from Croisic, 
with salt. 

August 8. — The seaners went into pay : 132 seans. 

September 9. — Hichens and Co. enclosed a small 
shoal at the Poll. 

September 10. — Four seans shot on small shoals. 

September 16.— A fine shoal passed at Carrack 
Gladden, but too deep. 

Wearne and Co. shot at the Poll and caught a 
shoal of mackerel. Five other seans shot at various 
stems. 

September 16. — Several seans shot, but only two 
caught fish. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 235 

September 17. — Took up eight boat-loads of pilchards 
and three boat-loads of mackerel. 

September 20. — Hichens and Co. shot at the Leigh, 
all mackerel: fourteen boat-loads; sold for £1,168 
14s. iod. 

September 21. — Bolitho's and Hichens each shot a 
sean. 

September 26. — Bolitho's shot at the Poll and missed. 

November 1. — Bolitho's caught a small shoal at 
Porthminster. 

Market House tolls sold for £151 to George Wasley. 

November 9. — Mr. Daniel Bamfield elected Mayor. 

November 14. — Sailed the Levant Packet, Cundy, for 
the Mediterranean, with 557 hogsheads pilchards. 

November 24. — Five seans shot on small shoals. 

November 25. — News arrived of the loss of the 
Susanna, Captain John Barnes, and crew. 

November 27. — News received of the Pomona's boat 
being washed on shore at Porthleven. 

November 29. — A tremendous hurricane W.N.W. ; 
much damage done to houses in the town, and the 
streets dangerous to walk in, on account of falling 
slates and chimneys. 

December 17. — Sailed the Eleanor and Albert for the 
Mediterranean with pilchards, and the Falmouth 
Packet, Uren, for Lisbon. 

December 24. — The Herald steamer grounded on 
Hayle Bar. 

December 25. — Wind N.E., a strong gale. The Four 
Sisters, Scantlebury, from Swansea, laden with coals, 
grounded on the Ridge. The crew were rescued by 
the pilot-gigs at great risk of life. 

January 11, 1837. — The Rachael, Reed, sailed from 
Newquay with pilchards for the Mediterranean. 



236 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

Total export from St. Ives this season, 5,918 hogs- 
heads, including 121 hogsheads brought from Port 
Isaac for shipment. 

February 6. — Arrived the French sloop Elvina, of 
Marseilles, from San Domingo, bound to Havre de 
Grace. 

February 13. — The influenza has been raging to a 
very great extent ever since the commencement of the 
year, and scarce a family in the town has escaped 
the epidemic. 

March 1. — A great number of deal planks landed by 
the boats, supposed from a vessel lost near the Quies 
rocks, she having been passed by the brig Exchange 
on the 23rd ult., with three masts gone and bowsprit 
standing: a vessel of about 500 tons, supposed from 
America with timber. 

March 19. — News brought on shore that James 
Williams, master of the Joseph, had fallen overboard 
and was drowned when off the Mumbles Head. 

March 27. — The Seventeenth Wesleyan Missionary 
Anniversary was held. Total collections, £202 os. 4£d. 

March 30. — Highest boat, 300 mackerel. 

April 4. — Snow falling all night. Herald steamer 
left for Bristol. 

April 8. — This spring has been the most severe and 
most backward known for a number of years. No 
grass; cattle dying for want of fodder. Beef 7^d., 
pork 5|d., butter i4d. per pound. 

April 10. — All night a very heavy fall of snow. 

April 17. — A sharp frost. 

April 27. — Four mackerel-boats landed from 700 to 
900 per boat ; sold to the skiffs at 22s. per hundred. 
Some of the deeper boats were fourteen leagues from 
land. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 237 

May 10. — The mackerel-boats, eighteen in number, 
landed £265 worth of fish. 

May 11. — All householders were served with a copy 
of the new bye-laws of the town, according to the new 
Municipal Corporations Act. 

June 1. — Summoned to the Town Hall for Church 
rate : 4s. 6d. for 1831, 2s. id. for 1833, 2S. 6d. for 1834 ; 
cost of warrant, is. 6d. ; total paid, 10s. yd. 

June 7. — Wind S.E., a heavy gale. Several ships 
came into the pier, and a great number anchored in the 
Bay, bound round the land. 

June 20. — The Herald steam-packet, when near the 
pier of St. Ives and about to leave for Bristol, burst 
her boiler, and slightly scalded the engineer and two 
firemen. She went into Hayle for repairs. 

Death of William IV. 

June 2i, 1837. — This post has brought the melancholy 
account of the death of our Sovereign King William IV. 

June 24. — Queen Victoria was proclaimed in St. Ives 
by William Hichens, Esq., Town Clerk ; the Mayor 
and Corporation in attendance. 

July 7. — Arrived the Commerce, Tremearne, from 
Croisic. 

July 10. — James Halse, Esq., canvassed the town. 

July 16. — Arrived the Caroline, Daniel master, from 
Quebec, with timber for this port. 

An Election 

July 21, 1837. — The writ for the Borough Election 
was publicly read. 

July 22. — The writs for the County Election were 
read. 



2 3 S PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

July 25. — At 9 a.m. a great number of the burgesses, 
with the Mayor, Aldermen, and Council, assembled 
in the Guild Hall. The Mayor being sworn to the 
Bribery Oath, and the Act concerning bribery read, 
the two candidates were nominated — J ames Halse, Esq., 
by William Bazeley, Sen., Esq., and William Tyring- 
ham Praed, Esq., by the Rev. Mr. Malkin. 

July 26. — Poll closed at 4 p.m.: Halse, 272; Praed, 
223 ; majority for Halse, 49. 

July 28. — Arrived the Superior, Wearne, and Com- 
merce, Tremearne, from Croisic, with salt. 

It is supposed that the Amelia, William Stevens 
master, his wife and ship's company, have foundered 
at sea. 

August 7. — Seaners went into pay — 138 seans, viz. : 
Tremearne and Co., 42; Bolitho's, 41 ; Wearne's, 29; 
Union Company, 12; Hocking, 8 ; Williams, 6. 

August 15. — Two boats on the drift, 5,000 pil- 
chards. 

August 27. — The brig Allen, Henry Care master, 
ran on the Stag Rocks, off the Lizard, and foundered. 
The crew were picked up by a schooner and landed at 
Penzance. 

September 1. — This morning the crew of the St. Ives 
reported the loss of their vessel on the Manacles. 
Crew saved in the boat. 

September 11. — Hichens shot a small shoal at the 
Poll. 

September 12. — Five seans shot; three caught fish. 

October 7. — Boats, 800 to 900 mackerel. 

October 11. — Drift-boats, from 2,000 to 12,000 fine 
herring, sold at 2s. 6d. per hundred. The herrings 
have not appeared on this coast for fourteen years, 
making their exit in 1823. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 239 

October 12. — From 40,000 to 50,000 herrings per boat, 
sold at 2s. 9d. per hundred. 

October 13. — Boats, from 5,000 herrings, sold at 3s. 
per hundred. 

October 18 to 29. — Large catches of herring and 
pilchards in the drift-boats. 

November 5. — Sailed the William, Broad, with 600 
hogsheads pilchards for Leghorn. 

November 6. — 120,000 herrings landed, sold at 2s. per 
hundred. 

November 8 to 11. — Very large catches of herrings, 
pilchards, and mackerel. 

November 12. — Two seans shot on small shoals. 

November 15. — Sailed the Anaxibia, with 630 hogs- 
heads, and Magic, with 614 hogsheads. 

November 18. — Drift-boats, large catches; two seans 
shot. 

November 19. — Some fine shoals of pilchards passed 
through the Bay. 

November 20. — The Church rate was opposed in 
Vestry, a decided majority being against making the 
rate. 

November 24. — Twelve seans shot at various stems. 

November 28. — The largest number of boat-loads of 
pilchards ever remembered taken up in one day : sixty 
boat-loads landed in all. 

December 1. — Tremearne and Co. tucked up twenty- 
six boat-loads of pilchards. 

December 21. — The brigantine Gem, Samuel Mollard 
master, from Portreath, foundered with all hands after 
collision with another vessel. The other ship soon 
afterwards foundered, and the crew were picked up 
and landed at Scilly. Captain Mollard and four of the 
crew of the Gem belong to St. Ives. 



2 4 o PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

January 15, 1838. — Sailed the Royal Mail, with 
571 hogsheads pilchards. 

January 16. — Sailed the Richard Hill, with 502 
hogsheads. 

January 17. — Sailed the Salome, Varwell, for Venice, 
with 600 hogsheads. 

January 18. — Sailed the Eliza and Nancy for Leg- 
horn, with 486 hogsheads. 

January 19. — Sailed the Venus, with 614 hogsheads, 
and the Levant Packet, with 710 hogsheads. 

January 26. — Sailed the New Jane for Naples, with 
420 hogsheads. 

January 27. — Sailed the Princess Victoria, with 600 
hogsheads. 

February 15. — Wind S.E., a tremendous gale. A 
French smack foundered in the harbour ; a passenger 
on board had his thigh broken. Several other vessels 
damaged. 

February 16. — The schooner Edward was abandoned 
at sea. Crew landed at Cork. 

The total quantity of pilchards exported from St. 
Ives this season is 13,588 hogsheads; twenty-six 
vessels loaded here for the Mediterranean. 

February 28. — The French brig General Foix, of 
Havre de Grace, was brought into the harbour by the 
boat Ceasar. The brig is from Gaudalope, bound to 
Havre, laden with sugar, coffee, rum, etc. It appears 
that the vessel was abandoned, and that her cabin had 
been ransacked by her crew before leaving. There 
were 7 feet of water in the hold. From the log-book 
it appears that she shipped a heavy sea, which washed 
four men overboard, breaking the legs of two others, 
and the remainder must have abandoned the vessel 
in the boat. The main-topmast and the head of the 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 241 

main-mast were carried away, and all sails, except a 
few old sails below deck.* 

March 2. — The General Foix began to discharge. 

March 7. — Sailed the St. Day, Harry, and Sisters, 
Binney, for Wales. 

April 3. — The Eighteenth Wesleyan Missionary 
Anniversary was held. The collection at the mis- 
sionary meeting was ,£161 6s. 2d., and the total receipts 
amounted to the large sum of £256 9s. 6d. 

April ij. — During the night the brig Neptune, of 
London, was lost on Godfrey Point. Crew drowned. 
She was from Liverpool, with a general cargo of 
hides, dye stuff, spice, cotton, etc., bound for Rotter- 
dam. Seven men have been picked up. 

April 28. — Boats, from 300 to 1,000 fine mackerel. 

May 10. — Mackerel from 2,000 to 5,000; sold at 6s. 
per hundred. 

Death of Mr. Halse 

May 16, 1838. — News arrived that James Halse, Esq., 
M.P., died in London on Monday, the 14th inst, 
after a protracted illness, when attending to his Par- 
liamentary duties, aged sixty-nine years.f 

* The General Foix was the most valuable prize ever brought into 
port by the St. Ives pilots and hobblers, no less than 1,000 guineas 
being paid for the services rendered. She was seen from St. Ives 
the previous evening, and the pilot-boat Dolphin went out in search ; 
but, taking a wrong direction, failed to find the abandoned vessel. 
Meanwhile, she was again descried from St. Ives, and the boat 
Ceasar, the only boat in the pier having ballast on board, was 
manned, and eventually succeeded in bringing the prize safely into 
port. 

t James Halse was born in Truro in the year 1769, and, removing 
to St. Ives early in life, became a commanding personality in the 
borough until the time of his death in 1838. He practised as a 
solicitor, became Town Clerk, Clerk to the Pier Trust, Deputy 
Hccorder, besides filling other important offices. He was a leading 

16 



242 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

The Election 

May 17, 1838. — The canvass commenced this day. 
A party for Mr. William Praed and another party for 
Mr. Francis Stephens, and notice given of a candidate 
coming in the interest of Mr. Edwin Le}'. 

May 22. — Praed and Stephens actively canvassing 
town and country. 

May 23. — At 8 a.m. the two candidates were nomin- 
ated at the Town Hall — viz., William Tyringham 
Praed, Esq., of Trevethoe, and Captain Francis Hearle 
Stephens, of Tregenna. The former was nominated 
by the Rev. Mr. Malkin and Mr. James Rosewall, and 
the latter by Mr. James Stevens and Mr. William 
Bazeley, sen. 

May 24. — Polling commenced in the Town Hall at 
8 a.m., and closed at 4 p.m. Praed, 256 votes ; 
Stephens, 248. Majority for Praed, 8. 



adventurer in the neighbouring mines, doubtless for political pur- 
poses ; but this kind of influence was considered perfectly legitimate 
in those days, and the fact that Mr. Halse actively canvassed and 
purchased a great many shares in Consols Mine, as we have seen 
recorded in the Old Diary, would call for no special remark. During 
his political contests with the Praed family, Mr. Halse was satirized 
in verse by the poet, Wintrop Mackworth Praed, who wrote a small 
volume entitled " Trash," and dedicated the same, " without respect," 
to James Halse, Esq., in the year 1832. Many old people in the 
town can still repeat verses from "Trash," but the book itself is 
exceedingly scarce, the writer knowing of only two copies in exist- 
ence. A contemporary, writing of Mr. Halse, says : " A neat village 
of about eighty houses and a good inn, within two miles of St. Ives, 
in a neighbourhood abounding with tin and copper mines, has been 
erected by James Halse, Ksq., from whom it derives its name. The 
same gentleman has also erected in the village a good school-house, 
with a residence for a master." The tin and copper mines are 
unfortunately things of the past, and the village of Halsetown has 
evidently seen its best days. Mr. Halse was Mayor of St. Ives in 
1807, and again in 1813 ; and afterwards represented the borough in 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 243 

May 29. — Arrived the Commerce, Tremearne, from 
Croisic, with salt. 

June 2. — Arrived the Edward, Berriman, from 
France, with salt. 

June 6. — This day was held the great festival of the 
teetotalers of St. Ives. At 1 p.m. they assembled on 
the Quay, where a sermon was preached by Mr. 
Richard Kernick to an assembled multitude of the 
St. Ives (numbering 1,328), Hayle, Lelant, Towednack, 
and Zennor teetotalers, all gathered together in this 
good cause. After the sermon they marched in good 
order to Trelyon with a band of music, and a number 
of elegant silk flags, made for the purpose, and in- 
scribed with appropriate mottoes. From thence they 
marched to the St. Ives Wesleyan Chapel, where they 
partook of tea, and where the greatest decorum and 
hilarity prevailed. At six o'clock the chapel was 

five Parliaments, at first with a colleague, but after the Reform Act 
of 1832 as the single member for the united borough of St. Ives, Lelant, 
and Towednack. In 1836, or 1837, Mr. Halse attended the Quarter 
Sessions at Lostwithiel, and presented the protest of a large number 
of the inhabitants of St. Ives against the proposal to declare St. Ives 
a free harbour. This fatal step was, however, taken, and St. Ives 
harbour was declared free in March, 1837, being thus deprived of 
its considerable revenue at a time of increasing trade. Had Mr. 
Halse succeeded in his enterprise, the harbour of St. Ives would not 
have had to wait for over fifty years for its much-needed improve- 
ment. The tablet in St. Ives Parish Church to the memory of 
Mr. Halse reads as follows : " Sacred to the memory of James 
Halse, Esq., who died the 14th May, 1838, aged 69 years. He 
resided in this Borough 48 years, and represented it in five Parlia- 
ments. He died in London, where he was attending to his Parlia- 
mentary duties, and was interred in the Cemetery at Kensal Green. 
Also of his widow, Mary, daughter of Thomas and Mary Hichens 
(born Allen, of Bosavern), who died June 25, 1851, aged 71. This 
monument is erected in affectionate and grateful remembrance by 
their nephew and heir, Edwin Ley." 



244 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

crowded, when the chair was taken by Mr. William 
Vivian, of Tuckingmill, who, with Mr. Harry, of 
Penzance, Mr. Shell, the Primitive preacher, Mr. 
Matthews, a Wesleyan local preacher, and Mr. James 
Teare, from Preston, gave some excellent discourses. 
At nine o'clock the great congregation dispersed, and 
departed to their homes in a true spirit of philan- 
thropy, all highly elated with the proceedings of this 
day, which has been one of the greatest ever remem- 
bered in the annals of our town. 

June 7. — One boat left for Ireland to commence the 
herring fishery. 

Jtme 11. — Sailed the Commerce, Tremearne, for 
Croisic. 

June 25. — Died this day, William Bazeley, Esq., 
Alderman of this Borough, aged sixty-four years. 

Coronation of Queen Victoria 

June 28, 1838. — This day our Queen Victoria I. 
was crowned. At 2 p.m. about 600 partook of dinner 
on the Terrace, 2s. 6d. per head. At eve all the 
children belonging to the Wesleyan Church, and 
Primitive Sunday Schools, 800 and upwards, took 
tea on the Terrace, and afterwards some hundreds of 
adults and the aged, by ticket at is. each. A band of 
music attended during the day. At night there were 
illuminations, when some very good figures were 
exhibited by gas. The whole finished with an excel- 
lent display of fireworks until midnight. There would 
have been a general illumination but for the death of 
our highly respected Alderman, William Bazeley, Esq. 

June 30. — William Bazeley, Esq., was interred at 
10 a.m. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 245 

July 4. — Yesterday the Church Missionary, when 
coming to St. Ives from Penzance to attend a mis- 
sionary meeting in the Town Hall, was thrown from 
the gig by driving over some stones in the road. By 
the fall his skull was fractured, and he died at Mrs. 
Hodge's, Halsetown, at one o'clock this morning. 

July 10. — Sailed the Commerce, Tremearne, for 
Croisic ; arrived the Will 0' the Wisp. 

July 17. — Sailed the Caroline for America. 

July 26. — Six boats on the drift landed from 3,000 to 
10,000 fine pilchards. 

August 2. — Arrived the Commerce, from Croisic. 

August 6. — Seaners went into pay this day. 



Number of Se 


\xs 




Bolitho ... 




33 


Hichens, Tremearne and Co. 




3i 


Union and Bamfield 




27 


Hocking and Co 




16 


James Williams and Co. ... 




10 


Wearne, Jenkyn and Co. ... 




29 



Total ... 146 

August 15. — Drift-boats, 1,000 to 3,000 pilchards. 

August 23. — Came into the roadstead at 10 p.m. the 
barque Lord Canterbury, from Bristol, outward bound 
to Canada. She is a vessel of 1,200 tons burden. 

August 26. — Sailed the Lord Canterbury, from the 
roadstead for North America. 

August 29. — Sailed the Margaret, Mollard, for Genoa 
and Leghorn. 

Drift-boats, from 6,000 pilchards, with herring and 
mackerel. 

August 30. — Sailed the Commerce, Tremearne, for 
Croisic for salt. 



246 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 



September 3. — A great quantity of pilchards passed 
deep. 

September 4. — Highest boat, 1,800 pilchards. 

September 8. — Last evening at eight o'clock a great 
concourse of people paraded the streets with an effigy 
of " Rover," which they burnt in front of Richard 
Penrose's house, and at the same time a great many 
panes of glass were broken. It is conjectured that 
this affair took place on account of Richard Penrose 
bringing a number of miners to clear up an old mine, 
called Wheal Ayr. By so doing it is thought that the 
present supply of water at Ventenear Well would be 
cut off, which happened at the previous working of the 
mine, and the well, which formerly gave an abundant 
supply, is now greatly diminished. 

September 14. — The regatta commenced at noon : — 

Six-oared gigs : 

Nimble, 1st prize 

Cor nubia, 2nd prize 

Union Company's Follower, 1st prize 

Williams' Follower, 2nd prize 
Four- oared gigs : 

Ebenezer 

Dauntless 
Sean-boats : 

Francis 

Honor 
Tow-boats : 

Bolitho's 

Hichens' 
Ships'-boats : 

Norwegian 

Mary 
Gig-and-praam race 



£ 


s. 


4 





2 





2 








10 


2 


10 


2 


5 


4 





2 





3 





1 


10 


2 





1 






September 17. 
September 18 
rather deep. 



Praam caught. 

Some boats, 2,500 mackerel. 

-Some shoals of pilchards passed 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 247 

September 20 to 30. — Drift-boats, good catches of 
mackerel each day. 

October 12. — Two seans shot at Carrack Gladden, 
Bolitho's and the Union, and Hocking shot at the Poll. 
Tremearne shot at Porthminster and missed through 
bad management. These are the first fish taken by 
seans for the season. 

October 13. — A fresh gale N.N.E. One laden boat 
coming home from the tuck filled near Porthminster 
Point, and was driven on shore in the Poll ; another 
warping home light was capsized on the Ridge, and 
three men were thrown into the sea, but were picked 
up by some boats in attendance. 

October 15. — Bolitho, Union and Hocking Companies, 
each took up seven boat-loads. 

October 17. — The total from the three seans is about 
1,550 hogsheads. 

October 23. — Boats on the drift, large catches of 
herrings. 

October 25. — Edwin Ley, Esq., was nominated 
Borough Magistrate in the room of his late uncle, 
James Halse, Esq., M.P. 

Drift-boats, large catches of herrings ; over ,£300 
worth landed to-day. 

October 26 to 31.— Drift-boats continue to land large 
catches of herrings. 

November 3. — Hocking and Company shot at Porth- 
minster but missed. Several shoals of fish passed deep. 

November 4. — Strong gale N.W .. ; tides are at their 
highest, with a tremendous run in the harbour. 
Several boats are damaged ; four sean-boats sunk 
at their moorings ; one flat, belonging to Mr. T. 
Tremearne, was driven out of the pier, and a gig was 
lost near Gwithian. 



2 4 8 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

November^. — The La Josephine, from the Isle of St. 
Domingo, laden with cotton, mahogany, etc., after a 
passage of sixty days, was brought here by the Scilly 
pilots, with loss of jolly-boat, figure-head, and sails 
split. 

November 9. — Drift-boats, large catches of mackerel, 
herrings and pilchards. 

November 10. — Messrs. Bolitho's, after vaining their 
sean yesterda}', re-shot the same upon a quantity of 
fish, which is contrary to the Act of Parliament, and 
the Union Company and Tremearne's, having next 
stems at Porthminster and Pednolver, shot their seans 
round Bolitho's net. To decide the controversy, 
Bolitho's agreed to share the fish equally between 
the three concerns. Twenty boat-loads of fish were 
taken out of the sean. 

November 20. — Bolitho's and Tremearne each shot 
a sean at Porthminster; enclosed 1,300 hogsheads. 

November 25. — Some fine shoals of pilchards passed 
before they could get the boats down. Bolitho's boats 
attended Porthminster stem on purpose, it is said, 
to prevent the Union Concern taking the stem, 
but this, I believe, is only an excuse, and perhaps 
when next an opportunity presents itself they will 
accept it. 

November 27. — Sailed the Water Witch, of London, 
for the Mediterranean, with 505 hogsheads pilchards. 

December 2. — Account received this day of the loss 
of the Sisters, John Binney master, in Rosehilly Bay. 
Crew saved. 

December 3. — Arrived the brig Phoebe, from North 
America. 

December 5. — Sailed the Rachel, Retcliff, for the 
Mediterranean, with 565 hogsheads pilchards. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 249 

December 6. — Sailed the Venus, Bawden, for the 
Mediterranean. 

December 13. — The John and Mary, of Sunderland, 
waterlogged and abandoned, was brought into this 
harbour. She was taken possession of by seven boats 
early in the morning of the 12th inst, about seven 
leagues from St. Ives. Also the La Vigilence, of 
Roscoe, was taken and brought to an anchor in the 
Roads; she was taken near St. Agnes with 75 tubs 
spirits, six Frenchmen, and two miners assisting from 
the shore. 

December 24. — The Rival, of Bristol, came on shore 
near the Quay Head. Crew saved 03^ the daring exer- 
tions of a tow-boat's crew. 

December 25. — The Rival, after being driven on 
Porthminster Beach, was got off and warped into the 
pier by the crews of the boats that exerted themselves 
to rescue the ship's company. The vessel has sus- 
tained but little damage, considering her perilous 
situation. Salvage, £82. She was from Liverpool, 
bound to London with a cargo of salt. 

January 6, 1839. — Sailed the Prima Donna for Naples, 
with 550 hogsheads pilchards. 

January 9. — Sailed the Magic, Trewavas, for Leg- 
horn, with 642 hogsheads. 

January 11. — Arrived the French brig Destin, of and 
from Marseilles, bound to Havre de Grace. 

January 15. — A great many American deal planks 
picked up on the shore. It is reported that the 
brigantine Harmony, Thomas Williams, master, that 
sailed from Chester on the 6th inst., was lost with all 
her crew on that day. This is the second vessel that 
Mr. Richard Williams has lost during the past eleven 
months. 



250 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

January 16. — A great number of planks picked up 
to-day. 

January 23. — The men shared for the Mary Ann 
each £5 10s. 

The total quantity of pilchards exported from St. 
Ives to the Mediterranean during the past season was 
3,663 hogsheads; price 54s. 6d. to 58s. 6d. per hogs- 
head before shipment. 

The total for the ten years — 1829 to 1838 — has been 
89,468 hogsheads, or an average of 8,946 hogsheads 
per annum. 

January 31. — A very heavy fall of snow and hail. 

February 15. — The brig John and Mary, of Sunder- 
land, that was brought into this port by the mackerel- 
boats, seven in number, in December last, and 
afterwards sold for .£400, was towed by three large 
boats to Padstow, having been sold to Mr. Tredwyn, 
shipwright of that place. 

February 20. — Yesterday several from the country 
were summoned to Camborne to show cause why they 
refused to pay the gas-rate. 

February 17. — At 1 p.m. the smack Victory, of Bristol, 
came on shore on the Ridge. Before the vessel struck 
the crew quitted her in the boat, and managed to get 
through the surf and reach the shore. The vessel 
sunk on the Ridge and became a total wreck. She 
was from Bristol, bound to Exeter with freestone 
and castings. 

April 2. — The Annual Wesleyan Missionary Services 
were held ; total collections, ^"200 5s. At the mis- 
sionary meeting the collection amounted to £129 6s. 3d. 

April 5. — The Royal Adelaide steamer towed into 
port a galliot, laden with wheat from Hambro', bound 
to Douglas, having lost both masts. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 251 

April 13. — The smack Victory, of Bristol, that was 
driven on shore on the Ridge, was floated into the 
harbour with her cargo of stone on board. 

April 28. — The great revival in the Wesleyan Chapel 
continues. The Rev. Mr. Malkin, the Church minister, 
preached in the chapel to a crowded house ; text, 
Ps. 66, v. 16.* 

May 9. — The mackerel-boats have lost from one to 
seven nets. Wind E.N.E., a strong gale. Seven 
boats, not come into port, reported seen by a vessel 
riding to their nets. 

May 12. — The absent boats arrived with the loss of 
a great many of nets. The number of nets lost during 
the gale is computed at over 100. 

Three boats, belonging to the Mount's Bay, have 
been lost with all their crews. 

May 14. — Gale N.E., with cold showers of rain, hail, 
and snow. 

May 15. — Heavy snow showers; fields in the 
neighbourhood and the eastern land entirely covered 
with snow. 

May 21. — Teetotalers perambulated the town, and, 
joining those from Lelant on the New Road, pro- 
ceeded to the Sand-bank or Timber-yard, where they 
partook of tea to the number of 1,000 persons. 

June 7. — Mr. Acland, from London, gave a lecture in 
the Town Hall this evening on the pernicious and 
destructive effects of the Corn Laws. He most ably 
set forth the evil entailed upon the people by the 
present inhuman tax on bread, the staff of life, and 
showed the necessity of everyone, with the excep- 

* It is said that the Rev. Mr. Malkin was expelled from the church 
for the part he took in the revival services in the Wesleyan Chapel 
at this time. 



252 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

tion of fools, never to rest satisfied until this tax is 
abandoned. 

July 19. — Wind S.W., a tremendous gale. Yesterday 
several vessels were lost in the Mount's Bay, and it is 
supposed that Captain Alexander Sampson, of the 
Charles Rashleigh, has been lost in this gale. 

August 6. — One drift-boat, shooting for the first 
time this season, caught 10,000 hne pilchards ; sold at 
3s. 4d. per hundred. 

August 10. — The Friends, William Stevens, aban- 
doned at sea, and afterwards towed into Ilfracombe. 

September 20. — One boat on the drift, 700 herrings, 
sold at i|d. each; one boat, 300 mackerel, sold at 2^d. 
each. We have not been favoured with thirty-six 
hours' dry weather since July 15. 

September 25. — Alan Goodridge, a lad ten years of 
age, fell overboard from the boat of the Cornish Trader 
alongside the vessel, and was drowned. 

September 27. — One boat, 950 mackerel, sold at 2d. 
each. 

October 1. — Highest boat, 100 mackerel, sold at 2|d. 
each. Fish of all kinds very scarce. 

October 5. — The crew of the smack Industry, of 
Plymouth, Brokenshire master, landed at 7 a.m. at 
Polmaro Cove, Zennor. The vessel foundered off 
Newquay on the 4th inst, and the crew, four in 
number, drove before the gale all night in their small 
boat with only one oar. 

October 12. — Boats, no fish of any sort. 

October 22. — Boats, from 5,000 herrings. 

Received a letter from Newquay of great quantities 
of fish on their coast. 

October 25. — This is the day set apart to com- 
memorate the one-hundredth year of Methodism. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 



253 



Wearne's shot at Pednolver on sprat ; the first sean 
shot for the season. 

October 29. — Boats, from 12,000 herrings. 

November 1. — This day being the day, by Act, to 
elect the Council men, four in number, and one in the 
room of D. Bamfield, Esq., he being elected Alderman. 
State of the poll : 



Mr. John Newman Tremcarne 
Samuel Hocking 
Vivian Stevens 
Thomas Rosewall 
John Chellew 
Matthew Trewhella 
Anthony Rosewall 
Richard Williams 
James Berriman 
Robert Bennetts 
Francis Stevens 
Thomas Bryant 



118 

101 

98 

9 1 
89 
82 

44 
42 
22 
20 
16 



November 6. — Boats on the drift, 30,000 herrings. 

November 7. — Some thousands of hogsheads of fish 
passed. Eight seans shot at Porthminster and Carrack 
Gladden. 

November 9. — Came into port the French brig 
Norman, of Cherbourg, from Cette, laden with wine 
and brandy, having lost her rudder. 

Five seans shot at the various stems. 

November 22. — Yesterday evening a little lad, aged 
eight years, was sent to Porthmeor Beach for a basket 
of sand. The tide was full, with a great surf on the 
shore, and by some means the child was washed 
off the beach, and up to the present has not been 
found. 

December 2. — Sailed the Pascoe, Mitchell, for Rouen. 

December 4. — The Providence, of Padstow, was cap- 



254 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

turcd last evening with three men and eight tubs of 
foreign spirits. 

December 5. — Tremearne at Pednolver went to sea 
on a shoal offish. 

One small ground sean took 10,000 herrings. 

December 7. — Captain Thomas Wall died, aged 
seventy-five. 

December 11. — On Monday a French merchant pur- 
chased a quantity of salt herrings at 3s. yd. per hundred. 

December 13. — All the pilchards sold at 60s. and 63s. 
per hogshead. 

December 14. — Arrived the schooner Margaret, 
Mollard, from Liverpool, bound to Constantinople, 
and the St. Ives, Quick, from Bristol, to load pilchards 
for the Mediterranean. 



Penny Postage 

January ro, 1840. — This day commences the penny 
postage through all the kingdom. 

The total export of pilchards from St. Ives to the 
Mediterranean during the past season, 6,750 hogs- 
heads ; twelve vessels loaded here. 

January 20. — Wind N.N.W. ; a heavy run in the 
pier. Several vessels received damage. 

January 22. — A general meeting of the inhabitants 
was convened at the Town Hall to consider the proper 
means to be adopted for building a new pier. A com- 
mittee of thirteen were chosen in order to petition 
Parliament, and to accomplish the object in view was 
the fixed determination of the meeting. 

January 24. — Came into port a French barque from 
Havre de Grace with general cargo for the West 
Indies, ten days out, with loss of boats and sails. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 255 

January 29. — There has been nothing but gales of 
wind and rain since the 19th inst. 

February 4. — A tremendous gale N.W. ; came into 
port the Little Queen. 

February 5. — Came into harbour the brigantine 
Bistoly, of Sully. She sailed from Hayle last evening, 
laden with copper ore for Bury. Several pieces of 
wreck have come on shore to the westward, which 
have been identified as part of the schooner James 
Stevens, of St. Ives. The William, of Whitby, was 
wrecked near Portreath during the night, the mate 
and two of the crew saved. News was sent here from 
Portreath that a vessel, dismasted, was riding at 
anchor about N. from St. Agnes, six miles off the 
point. This vessel was afterwards taken possession 
of by the boats belonging to St. Agnes, and towed 
into that place. She proved to be the Thomas, of 
Ipswich, laden with salt from Liverpool; the crew 
had abandoned her, when or how is not known. At 
11.30 a.m. a schooner was discovered having a vessel 
in tow. Two gigs proceeded to sea, and found the 
schooner to be the Water Nymph, of Ipswich, having 
in tow the French schooner Vigilant, of Ostend, laden 
with rock salt, dismasted. At two in the morning the 
wind freshened from the S.W., when the tow-rope 
parted, and the schooner left and stood to the N.W. 

February 10. — The Queen was married this day. 

The Chartists. 

February 12. — Yesterday arrived the Usk steamer, 
from Bristol, having on board the three Chartists 
(Frost, Jones, and Williams) who were condemned to 
death for high treason after the late riots at Newport, 



256 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

on their voyagfe to join the convict-ship at Portsmouth, 
the sentence having been commuted to transportation. 
At night the steamer went into Hayle, where she now 
lies, no one being allowed to see the prisoners.* 

February 18. — All the Welsh fleet have arrived, 
having been kept up Channel six and eight weeks by 
the prevailing S.W. winds. 

February 27. — Last night the brig Robert, of Beau- 
moris, John Owens master, from Bangor, laden with 
slate and empty casks, struck on the Stones. The 

* During the autumn of 1839, Mr. John Frost, a linen-draper and 
Borough Magistrate of Newport, Mon., entered into a conspiracy 
with two other Chartist leaders, named Jones and Williams, to take 
possession of the town of Newport, which was to be the signal for a 
rising of the Chartists in all parts of the Kingdom. It had been 
arranged that the men of the hills should march in three divisions 
on the town, but the divisions under Jones and Williams failed to 
arrive at the appointed time — viz., midnight on Sunday, Novem- 
ber 3, and the party under Frost himself was late, and it was not 
until 10 o'clock on the Monday morning that the insurgents entered 
the town. The Mayor had taken prompt measures for the defence 
of the place. Thirty soldiers and a number of special constables, 
with the magistrates and police, were stationed in the Westgate 
Hotel in the Market-place, the chief point of attack. The insurgents 
drew up in front of the building, about 8,000 strong, and Frost com- 
manded the constables to surrender, and on their refusal the word 
was given to fire, and at the same moment the rioters, with their 
pikes and other instruments, drove in the door and rushed into the 
passage. In the fighting which ensued the Mayor was severely 
wounded, with many others, and a great many persons were killed 
in the streets, but at length the assailants broke and fled in all 
directions. The writer has frequently seen the shot-holes in the 
porch of the old Westgate Hotel at Newport, which has only very 
recently been pulled down. Frost, Jones, and Williams were tried 
by a Special Commission and found guilty of high treason, and 
sentence of death was passed upon them on January 16, 1840. This 
was afterwards commuted to transportation for life, but a free 
pardon was granted to them on May 3, 1856, and they returned to 
England in the September following. 




THE 01. 1 1 NAVIGATION SCHOOL, ST. I \ h> 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 257 

crew, nine in number, left in the long boat, and landed 
here at 2 a.m. 

March 6. — The largest fleet of vessels known for 
some time past sailed from St. Ives and Hayle this 
morning. 

March 26. — This day was by the Wesleyan Metho- 
dists of this town set apart for Divine worship in com- 
memoration of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit among 
the people at the great revival, which commenced this 
day twelve months. 

April 7. — Strong gale, wind N. The smack Mary 
Ann, of Poole, John Elliot, from Swansea, coal- 
laden, stranded outside Pednolver Point ; soon after 
the mast went by the board. The crew of two men 
and a boy were saved. At low water the materials 
were taken on shore. 

April 8. — The Wesleyan Missionary Anniversary 
Services held this day. At the annual meeting the 
chair was taken by the Rev. Mr. Malkin, the church 
minister. The total collections for the services 
amounted to £210 (at the missionary meeting it was 
£ l S7 5 s -) y an d the ladies' bazaar and annual contribu- 
tions brought up the total to £392. 

April 22. — One boat, 3,000 mackerel ; sold to the 
Bristol and Welsh skiffs at 16s. per hundred. 

May 2.— Abraham Craze had a child four years old 
nearly burnt to death on the terrace. 

May 5. — Mr. Paul Tremearne died 

At a meeting of the parishioners the majority dis- 
allowed the levying of a Church rate. 

June 7. — First two boats sailed for Ireland. 

June 9.— Several boats sailed for Ireland. 

July 21. — Regatta took place at 3.30 p.m. 

August 10. — Mr. Edwin Wcarne died. 

'7 



258 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

August ii. — Sean-boats commenced stemming for 
the season. 

August 13. — Arrived the Victoria from Quebec with 
timber for this port ; thirty days' passage. 

August 26. — One boat, 2,000 pilchards. 

September 2. — One boat, 10,000 pilchards. 

September 16. — At 7 a.m. a smack was descried about 
E.N.E. from St. Ives Head, distant six miles, seemingly 
disabled, and while the pilots were watching her she 
disappeared, consequently must have foundered. In 
the evening news was brought that part of the wreck 
had come on shore under the Black Cliffs, when it 
was ascertained that the vessel was the Sisters, of 
Bristol. 

September 19. — One boat put in mackerel-nets, and 
took 4,000 fine fish. 

September 22. — The mackerel-boats, forty in number, 
landed about 20,000 fine mackerel. Victoria Company 
shot a sean at the Leigh. 

September 23. — Three seans shot to-day. 

September 26. — One boat, 10,000 mackerel ; other 
boats catching pilchards and herring. 

October 1. — About 36,000 mackerel landed to-day, 
sold at 13s. and 14s. per hundred. 

October 3. — Revising Barrister attended to examine 
the lists of voters, when several for St. Ives, Lelant, 
and Towednack were rejected. 

October 5. — Wearne's shot a sean at Porthminster. 

October 21. — Drift-boats continue to land good catches 
of mackerel, pilchards, and herring. 

October 27. — Drift-boats landed 52,000 mackerel, sold 
at 12s. per hundred. 

October 29. — The Union Concern enclosed a fine 
shoal of pilchards. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 259 

Smugglers 

November 2, 1840. — A small French smack was boarded 
by two of the Preventive men stationed at Zennor, and 
captured from her crew of five Frenchmen and one 
Englishman. The goods on board amounted to 151 
tubs of spirits. The smuggler was brought to this 
port, and one of the men who made the seizure fell 
backwards when seated at his dinner, and shortly 
afterwards expired. 

November 3. — An infant daughter of Mr. Cury Taylor 
was so dreadfully burnt that she died. 

November 7. — Boats on the drift ; large catches of 
herrings, pilchards, and mackerel. 

November n. — A large number of seans shot this 
day at the various stems, and it is computed that the 
quantity enclosed is near 20,000 hogsheads. 

November 12. — Four seans shot, two caught fish, and 
two missed. 

November 19. —A heavy gale E.N.E. The seans in 
the water have all sustained more or less damage ; 
some have been torn in pieces and driven seaward from 
their moorings. Ail the fish enclosed have been lost. 

November 22. — The Emily, of Bristol, was towed 
into harbour by two of the large boats. At 7 p.m. last 
evening the vessel was thrown upon her beam ends, 
and the crew were obliged to cut away the mainmast, 
when she righted, and they afterwards brought her to 
an anchor. She is from Waterford, bound to Bristol, 
laden with oats. 

November 25. — It is reported that there is a vessel 
bottom up near St. Agnes ; also that a schooner was 
observed to founder not more than five miles from 
St. Ives Head. 



260 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

December 9. — Arrived the Victoria, Captain Tom 
Daniel, from Quebec, after a passage of forty days. 

December 16. — Sailed the Antigua Planter, Hodge, 
with 343 hogsheads pilchards for Venice. 

The total quantity of pilchards exported this season 
from St. Ives to the Mediterranean has been 15,138 
hogsheads. Thirty-one vessels loaded here. 

January 14, 1841. — Sailed the Cornish Diamond, Maria 
Louisa, and Martha Jane. 

February 5 to 7. — A tremendous gale E.S.E. ; the 
greatest outhaul of sand on St. Ives beach and 
Porthminster ever known by the oldest man now 
living. 

February 12. — On Tuesday last distress warrants 
were granted to distrain from several individuals for 
non-payment of the gas-rate, when a mob assembled, 
and insulted and resisted the parish officers ; in conse- 
quence of which this day at ten o'clock, according 
to summons, they assembled in the Town Hall, where 
120 special constables were sworn in for three months, 
and the ringleaders in this riotous transaction came 
forward to the bar and acknowledged in public court 
their contrition for their offence, and begged the 
clemency of the Mayor, and by written and signed 
documents acknowledged the same. 

March 2. — Interred this day Captain Edward Geen, 
aged ninety-two. 

March 21. — The barque Ambassador, of Newcastle, 
came into the Roadstead about 9 p.m., firing signal- 
guns. She has lost her poop, cabin, deck-house, 
wheel, and three men (chief mate, second mate, and 
one seaman), all washed overboard with one sea. She 
is very much damaged in her sails, and has also lost 
three boats. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 261 

April 2. — On Tuesday night, or Wednesday morning, 
the brig Britannia was lost going into Padstow ; also 
a schooner. 

April 8. — At midnight the Captain and crew of the 
smack Triton, of Ilfracombe, landed at St. Ives, with 
loss of clothes, etc. Their vessel, coal-laden, foundered 
about three leagues from St. Ives Head. 

April 13. — Drift-boats, from 400 to 1,000 mackerel, 
sold at 20s. per hundred. 

On Sunday last the Rev. Samuel Dunn preached a 
missionary sermon in the Wesleyan Chapel, and in the 
evening the Rev. John Nelson. Total collections for 
the anniversary, £215. 

April 22. — Wind N.E., a strong gale. 

" If April blows her horn, 
It will prove good for hay and corn." 

April 28. — Swallows first observed for the season. 
May 7. — Drift-boats, good catches of mackerel. 

An Election 

June 9, 1841. — Mr. Ley canvassed the town, also 
Mr. Praed. 

June 23. — Dissolution of Parliament. 

June 25. — Writs for a General Election read. 

June 26. — A third candidate arrived this day, and 
gave a lecture at the Castle Inn, Mr. Sam Mays. 

June 30. — At eleven o'clock the two candidates, 
Edwin Ley, Esq., and William Tyringham Praed, Esq., 
were nominated at the Town Hall. 

July 1. — State of the poll : 

Praed ... ... ... ... ... 272 

Lev ... ... 268 

Pracd's majority, robbed from the people ... 4 



262 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

The Census 

According to the census now taken the number of 
inhabitants in the parish of St. Ives is 5,656, being 
a decrease of 75 on the last census. 

July 11, 1841. — The Eliza, Captain Silvanus Clark, 
foundered to the westward of Lundy. 

July 27. — Arrived the Victoria, Daniel, from Quebec. 

August 2. — Some persons left for Bodmin to find 
a bill against illegal voters at the late election. 

August 6. — Praed and others indicted to Bodmin for 
illegal votes passed at the last election. 

August 13. — One boat on the drift, 9,000 very fine 
pilchards, the first for the season. 

August 23. — Seaners put in pay. Total number of 
seans, 142. 

September 26. — Teetotalers separated from the 
Wesleyans.* 

October 22. — Victoria Company shot at Carrack 
Gladden on sprat. 

October 26. — Drift-boats landed about 100 hogsheads 
pilchards. 

October 29. — Four seans shot to-day on sprat. 

October 30. — Drift-boats, small catches of pilchards ; 
very few herrings. Some have taken over 200 cod-fish. 

November 1. — This day is appointed to elect the new 
councillors. Result of the poll : 

Mr. James Wearne ... ... ... ... 284 

,. Charles Allen ... ... ... ... 261 

„ Henry Willy 257 

„ Charles Richards ... ... ... ... 247 

* The teetotalers belonging to the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel 
separated from their society on the temperance question, and built 
the Teetotal Methodist Chapel. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 263 

Mr. James Berriman ... ... ... ... 125 

„ W. E. W. Tresidder ... ... ... 123 

„ J. S. Buzza ... ... ... ... 113 

„ James Rosewall ... ... ... ... 112 

Mr. Edwin Ley's party victorious, and Mr. Praed's 
party at the bottom of the poll. 

November 2. — Union Company shot a sean at the 
Poll. 

November 9. — Richard Kernick was chosen Mayor 
for the ensuing year. 

November 10. — James Williams shot a sean at Cam 
Crowse, enclosing about 800 hogsheads pilchards; but 
the sean was carried round the Head, and received 
much damage from the rocks. 

November 11. — Market tolls sold to Mr. William 
Bazeley for ,£149. 

November 16. — Hichens Company took a small shoal 
of pilchards at Porthminster ; Bolitho's shot a sean at 
the Poll on sprat. 

November 18. — The smack Joan and Mary towed 
into the roadstead the schooner Grace, Henry Samp- 
son master, entirely dismasted. 

November 20. — Several seans shot to-day at the 
various stems. 

November 29. — James Williams and Brothers in- 
dicted Messrs. Tremearne and Co. to the White Hart 
Inn, Hayle, to show cause why their shoal of fish, 
enclosed on Saturday, the 20th inst, and forfeited to 
the Victoria Company, should not devolve to them 
(James Williams and Brothers), the stop-net having 
been shot contrary to Act of Parliament. 

December 28. — A cask of rum picked up at Zennor 
and lodged at the Custom House. 

The total quantity of pilchards exported to the 



264 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

Mediterranean during the past season from St. Ives 
was 6,830 hogsheads. Twelve vessels loaded here for 
the Mediterranean ports. The new Fishery Act was 
passed this year (1841). On November 20 Tremearne 
and Co. enclosed a shoal of 2,500 hogsheads, using 
three stop-nets. As the new Act only allowed two 
stop-nets, the fish were forfeited to the Victoria Com- 
pany. The matter was finally settled by the payment 
of 15s. per gurry for half the fish. 

January 12, 1842. — Mr. William Bazeley married to 
Miss Morgan, eldest daughter of Captain William 
Morgan, of St. Ives. 

February 14. — Edward Morshead, a lad of sixteen, 
had his legs so dreadfully injured when working at 
the mine that he died. 

March 8. — The annual meeting of the Batten Fishing 
Company was held to-day at the Crown and Anchor. 

March 16. — News received that the schooner Mary, 
Nathaniel Paynter master, was lost on Aberavon Bar. 

March 28. — Arrived the Brilliant steamer, from 
London. 

April 7. — Sailed the barque Victoria, Captain Tom 
Daniel, for Quebec, with 300 emigrants on board. 

The Annual Wesleyan Missionary Anniversary was 
held last Sunday. Total collections, £\^o 17s. 1 id. 

April 28. — The first swallows observed for the 
season. 

April 30. — Drift-boats, from 3,000 mackerel ; sold at 
15s. per hundred. 

May 20. — Boats averaged about 1,000 mackerel each, 
sold at 13s. per hundred. 

The Council ordered the making of a gas-rate for 
£200. 

June 12. — The dial of the Town Clock was observed 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 265 

to be out of its place. It is supposed that the clock 
has been struck by lightning. 

June 13. — Some boats sailed for Ireland for the 
herring fishery. 

June 21. — A meeting of the parishioners was held 
yesterday in the Town Hall to take into consideration 
the propriety of making a Church rate, when it was 
proposed to make a rate of id. in the pound. This 
was refused by a majority of fourteen, in conse- 
quence of which the church clock was immediately 
stopped, the sexton, clerk, and the man who keeps 
the clock in repairs and winds it up weekly, being- 
each three years in arrears of salary. 

June 22. — Arrived the Brilliant steamer, Captain 
Stevens, from her first voyage from Hayle to the 
Scilly Isles. 

July 27. — Some boats landed 250 fine mackerel, sold 
at 20s. per hundred. 

August 3. — Some small shoals of fish seen from the 
hills. 

Pleasant weather for the harvest, which is making 
great progress. Some excellent corn has been cut in 
our neighbourhood. 

August 4. — Boats, from 6,000 pilchards ; sold at is. Qd. 
per hundred. 

August 5. — Arrived the Victoria, Daniel master, from 
Quebec, laden with timber ; ordered to Bridgewater 
to discharge. 

August 8. — Some seaners put in pay. 

August 24. — Several shoals of fish seen from the 
hills. 

September 6. — Three scans shot at Carrack Gladden. 
Bolitho's took up some fine fish, but those meshed in 
the net were very small, only about 5 or 6 inches long. 



266 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

September 13. — Drift-boats, catches of mackerel, 
herring, and pilchards. Some playing shoals seen 
in the Bay. 

September 16. — A little girl belonging to Mr. William 
Bennetts, at Ayr, aged four years, caught her clothes 
on fire with the candle, and was burnt to death. 

September 25. — A young man, aged eighteen, on 
board a schooner belonging to Padstow, fell from the 
cross-trees and was killed. 

September 28. — Two seans shot at the Poll, but 
missed. 

October 7. — Drift-boats landed good catches of 
mackerel. Sold at 12s. per hundred. 

October 8. — Yesterday the Victoria Company shot at 
the Leigh, but their warp not being on shore, as re- 
quired by Act of Parliament, Hichens and Co. shot 
their Poll-boat in the Victoria sean, and secured the 
fish. A desperate battle was fought between the 
crews of the two concerns. 

October 11. — The fish enclosed on the 8th have not 
yet been taken up, the dispute between the two con- 
cerns still going on. Hichens and Co. propose to 
have them taken up and sold by unconcerned men, 
and the money lodged in the bank, pending the settle- 
ment of the case by law, but the Victoria Company 
refuse to agree to this. 

October 14. — The disputed fish still in the seans. 

Bolitho's shot at Porthminster, and the Gleaners at 
the Leigh. 

October 15. — The disputed fish still in the water. 
The Victorias went down to tuck, but Hichens and 
Co.'s crew left their stem at Cam Crowse, and pre- 
vented them from tucking the fish. 

Tremearne and Co. shot at the Leigh. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 267 

October 17. — The parties concerned in the disputed 
fish (which have turned out to be a shoal of mackerel), 
have come to the determination to take them up, and 
lodge the proceeds in the bank until the case is settled 
by law. 

October 18.— Victoria Company took up three boat- 
loads of mackerel, which sold for £321. 

October 20. — Two boat-loads of mackerel taken up 
to-day realized 40s. per gurry. 

October 22. — Fifteen gurries of mackerel landed to- 
day, and the sean has been taken up. 

The Auspicious, Captain Lovering, which sailed from 
Hayle with two other vessels, has been lost near 
Clovelly. Crew drowned. 

October 24. — Wind N., a strong gale. The barque 
Bosphorus, of Newcastle, slipped her anchors at 3 a.m., 
and ran for Hayle, where she arrived in safety. She is 
from Liverpool, bound to Jamaica, with general cargo. 
The pilots demand ^"400 for their services. 

October 28. — Drift-boats, good catches of mackerel, 
herring, and pilchards. 

October 30. — Great quantities offish passed deep. 

November 1. — Sailed the Kate, Barnett, for Venice, 
with 360 hogsheads pilchards. 

The disputed shoal of mackerel realized ^601 13s. id.; 
expenses, ^32 3s. 8d. ; paid into Messrs. Bolitho's bank, 
£569 9s. 5d. 

November 8. — Great quantities of fish passed New- 
quay yesterday. 

November 9. — A large number of seans shot to-day 
at the various stems. It is computed that at least 
12,000 hogsheads have been enclosed. 

November n. — Taken up to-day nearly 900 hogs- 
heads pilchards. 



268 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

November 19. — Several seans shot at Porthminster 
— viz., Bolitho's caught 1,200 hogsheads; Union Com- 
pany, 500 hogsheads ; Hichens Company's sean carried 
round the Head ; Tremearne and Co.'s sean carried 
round the Head ; Victoria Company missed the fish ; 
Wearne and Co. missed the fish. 

November 24. — Shoals of pilchards seen passing to 
the westward. 

November 30. — Four seans shot this morning ; the 
Faithful at Cam Crowse before the stem came in hand, 
which will be disputed. Bolitho's shot at Pednolver, 
and took a large shoal ; Wearne shot at the Poll 
and missed ; Victoria's took a small shoal at the 
Leigh. 

December 1 to 10. — Drift-boats, good catches of pil- 
chards, herring, and mackerel. 

December 31. — The total quantity of pilchards ex- 
ported from St. Ives this season has been 16,754 hogs- 
heads, the price paid to curers being from 37s. to 40s. 
per hogshead. Thirty-four vessels loaded here for 
various Mediterranean ports. The largest catches 
were in November ; immense bodies of fish were seen 
on the 19th of that month. The total export from the 
county this season was 20,735 hogsheads, 16,754 hogs- 
heads being from St. Ives. Messrs. Bolitho keep 
300 hogsheads in salt for next year, and 313 hogsheads 
of St. Ives fish were shipped at Newlyn. 

January 13, 1843. — A very heavy gale from W.N.W. 
A large number of houses have received damage, and 
some chimneys have been blown down. 

February 17. — Sailed the Freeman, Captain Veal, for 
Portreath ; her first voyage for this season. 

February 18. — Wind N.E., a strong gale. The Pearl, 
of Bristol, came into the Pool, having struck outside 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 269 

the Pier Head. Two gigs were sunk going to the said 
vessel, but all the men were saved. Also arrived the 
Margaret, Sanders, from Plymouth, laden with copper- 
ore. 

March 21. — Some of the witnesses left for Bodmin 
on the case of the disposed shoal of mackerel, enclosed 
on the 8th of October last by the Victoria Company 
and Hichens and Co. 

March 26. — Mr. Hichens came home this morning 
from Bodmin. 

April 3. — Yesterday the Wesleyan Missionary 
Services were preached — in the morning by a native 
Indian from Hudson's Bay, North America. Total 
collections for the anniversary, £150 15s. 6d. 

April 6. — Mackerel-boats shot the first time for the 
season, eleven in number ; catches very small. 

May 2. — On Sunday last a vessel belonging to New- 
quay towed into that place a dead whale, 75 feet 
long. 

May 30. — Mackerel-boats, have had fair fishing 
during the past month. 

June 17. — Steamers Brilliant and Cornwall left for 
Jersey and Guernsey. 

June 21. — First boats sailed for Ireland on the 
herring fishery. 

June 22. — Arrived the Brilliant and Cornwall; the 
former arrived first. 

July 4.— During last night Thomas Rosewall and his 
comrade were tamping a hole underground in Consols 
Mine, when the hole unexpectedly blasted, and Rose- 
wall was so severely injured that he died shortly after 
he was taken to his home. He leaves a widow and 
six children. The other man was burnt a little about 
the face. 



2;o PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

August 8. — Drift-boats, from 2,000 to 15,000 fine 
pilchards. 

August 11. — Boats, 4,000 to 20,000 pilchards. 

August 17. — Boats, as high as 30,000 pilchards taken 
six and seven leagues from the land. 

August 21. — Seaners went into pay. Total number 
of seans, 188. 

September 26. — Drift-boats, catches of mackerel ; sold 
at 15s. and 17s. per 120. 

October 5. — A great many shoals of playing fish seen 
from the hills. 

October 12. — All the town lamps, forty-two in number, 
lighted for the first time for the winter. 

October 21. — Three boats at sea together, at Cam 
Crowse, Pednolver, and the Leigh; but the fish proved 
to be sprat 

October 27. — Some fine shoals of mackerel passed 
through Pednolver stem. Victoria Company shot at 
Porthminster and missed. Drift-boats, from 500 to 
11,000 mackerel; sold from 9s. to 12s. per 120. 

October 28. — During the night some of the drift-boats 
were driven on shore to the eastward of Carrack 
Gladden. Two or three shoals of fish passed through 
Portminster stem, supposed to be pilchards, but it was 
too dark for the men in the boat to distinguish the 
hewer on the hill, otherwise the boat would have 
shot. 

October 31. — Great quantities of fish reported passing 
Newquay. 

November 29. — During the past month the drift-boats 
have taken very little pilchards, and only small quanti- 
ties of mackerel and herring. To-day Hichens and Co. 
shot at Porthminster, and enclosed about 1,000 hogs- 
heads pilchards. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 271 

December 5. — Drift-boats, from 7,000 herrings ; a large 
shoal of fish, supposed to be herrings, passed deep. 

December 14. — Bolitho shot a sean at Porthminster, 
about 300 hogsheads. 

December 20. — Seaners still in pay and the boats on 
stem, a circumstance unknown so late in the season by 
the oldest man now living in the town. 

December 31. — The total quantity of pilchards ex- 
ported this season is 2,381 hogsheads, including 300 
hogsheads left over from 1842. The number of seans 
has increased this year to 188. 

February 23, 1843. — Sailed the Spanish brig Envicto 
for Havre de Grace. 

February 27. — Grounded on the ridge the brig 
Euphenia of Kirkwall, from Cardiff for Naples, laden 
with iron, out eight days. Yesterday the master, 
William Derris, was washed overboard and drowned. 
The vessel is much damaged. 

There are now living at St. Ives, out of about 5,000 
inhabitants, 3 persons averaging 95 years of age ; 
28 persons averaging 84 years ; and 24 persons averag- 
ing yS years : a total of 4,509 years for 55 persons, or 
an average of nearly 81 years for each person. 

April 20. — Consols Mine took fire on Friday, the 
1 2th inst, and is still burning. It is conjectured that 
some of the miners must have placed lighted candles 
against the woodwork. 



Water-Supply 

May 8, 1843. — The water was brought into the town 
this day. The expense was defrayed by public sub- 
scription—Mr. Stephens, of Tregenna, giving £100, 
and Mr. Praed £100. There are eight public fountains. 



2/2 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

To celebrate the event a band of music went round the 
town, followed by a great concourse of people.* 

May 29. — Drift-boats during the month have had 
good catches of mackerel. 

June 7. — Boats, 500 to 3,000 mackerel ; sold at 9s. per 
hundred. Three boats left for the Welsh and Bristol 
markets with 20,000 mackerel. 

July 10. — Drift-boats, about eight in number, from 
9,000 to 12,000 very fine pilchards — about 50 hogs- 
heads in all. 

July 11. — Early this morning a young woman named 
Honor Curnow, of Redruth, servant to Mr. Harris, 
grocer, left her master's house and threw herself from 
the Breakwater Point into the sea. She was kept 
afloat by her dress, and her screams attracting atten- 
tion, a boat put off and brought her safely to land. 

July 12. — Drift-boats, landed about 24 hogsheads 
pilchards. 

July 21. — During the past month the drift-boats have 
landed about 1,000 hogsheads pilchards. 

July 29. — Arrived the Victoria, Daniel master, in 
thirty-four days from Quebec. 

August 3. — At 2 a.m. the wind shifted to W.N.W., a 
heavy gale. The drift-boats got their nets on board 
with great difficulty. One boat, the Polly, is missing, 

* " The town of St. Ives is admirably supplied with water by the 
recent introduction of one of the pure streams from the hills. This 
very important work has been achieved by public subscription, to 
which the great land-owners and gentry connected with the place 
have most liberally contributed. But the most remarkable of all the 
subscriptions is that of £100 from Mr. James Richards, formerly a 
coachman to the Praed family at Trevethoe, who, though not con- 
nected with St. Ives, either by the ties of family or property, bestowed 
this muniheent sum specially to aid the poor, for whose benefit the 
work was chiefly undertaken." — J. S. Courtney : Guide to Penzance 
and Neighbourhood, 1845. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 273 

with four young men — Clark, Richards, Barber, and 
Davis. 

The Cornwall, steamer, towed a schooner into Hayle, 
with foremast and maintopmast gone. Several other 
vessels came into the pier, with loss of sails, etc. 

Shipwrecks and Loss of Life 

August 7. — The boat's crew missing on the 3rd inst. 
were miraculously picked up by the schooner Quick- 
silver, of Truro, and landed at Newport. They were 
rescued at 7 a.m., about five leagues from Newquay. 
The same night the schooner Integrity, Captain John 
Husband, Senr., was lost near Boscastle with all 
hands ; also the Navarino, Captain Thomas Paynter, 
with all his crew, and his wife ; also the Joseph, Captain 
John Williams, his mate, Edward Boase, and all hands ; 
also the Prince Regent, Captain John Husband, Junr. 
(son of the above), and all his crew, with a woman and 
two children, passengers. Eour vessels belonging to 
this port lost in one night, with all hands. The Prince- 
Regent left here in the morning for Plymouth. The 
Integrity and Joseph left Portreath, and the Navarino 
was from Wales. 

August 16. — Sailed the Eldrcd, Chellew, for Ichaboa 
for guano. 

August 20. — Seaners put into pay. 

August 23. — Drift-boats, 50,000 pilchards. Bolitho's 
caught a small shoal at the Leigh. The Union 
Company shot and missed the fish. 

August 24. — Wearne and Co., Union Company, and 
the Gleaners each took a small shoal at the Leigh. 

August 25. — Five scans shot to-day on small shoals. 

August 29. — It is reported that there is a n abundance 

iS 



274 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

of pilchards at Perran, and that great quantities have 
been hauled on shore by the ground seans. The 
Faithful sean, with light drift-boats, proceeded to 
Perran. This is a spare sean belonging to the 
fishermen. 

August 30. — Sailed the Blanche, Richard Short 
master. 

September 19. — Sailed the James Wearne for the 
Mediterranean, with 700 hogsheads pilchards ; 33s. per 
hogshead has been advanced on this cargo. The 
remainder of the drift fish have been sold for 44s., and 
the sean fish for 52s. 6d. 

October 12. — Drift-boats from 3,000 to 5,000 mackerel. 

October 16. — Drift-boats landed over 100,000 fine 
mackerel ; sold at 8s. per hundred. 

October 21. — Hichens and Co. shot a sean at the Poll 
on a small shoal of herrings. 

November 7. — Yesterday several shoals of fish made 
their appearance in the Bay. 

November 8. — A great quantity of pilchards passed 
too deep for the seans. 

November 14.— Drift-boats, good catches of pilchards, 
herring, and mackerel. The pilchards are like the 
summer fish, being rather small and soft, and I take 
this to indicate that the winter shoals have not yet 
passed our coast. 

November 17. — An abundance of pilchards made their 
appearance, but owing to the dense fog the sight from 
the hills was obscured. Nine seans have been shot at 
the various stems. 

November 27. — Sailed the Blanche for Kingroad. 

December 5. — Samuel Noall, of Hellesvere, was rode 
over and killed on Rocky Downs. 

December 14. — A bo}' belonging to James Shugg set 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 275 

fire to a small keg of powder, and blew the roof off the 
house. 

December 22. — News arrived of the loss of the Erin, 
James Anthony master, she having sprung a leak, 
when the crew took to the boat, and after drifting 
about for eleven hours were picked up by the John 
and Elizabeth, of Newquay, and landed at Cork. 

December 31. — The total quantity of pilchards ex- 
ported from St. Ives to the Mediterranean this season 
is 5,215 hogsheads; average price, 45s. to 55s. per 
hogshead. 

January 20, 1845. — The Lady Anne, of Yarmouth, 
John Page master, from Newport, laden with railway 
iron, bound for Lynn, ran for the pier in a sinking- 
state, and struck the ground on the ridge. They let 
go two anchors, and the ship was beating on the 
ground for about an hour, when the quay warp was 
placed on board a large boat, which went out at great 
risk and danger to all on board, and succeeded in 
getting the warp to the vessel, and by the help of the 
people on the pier-head she was warped into the 
harbour, where she sank. Too much praise cannot 
be given to the pilots for the preservation of the crew, 
ship and cargo. 

February 1. — On Sunday last John Bennett, master 
of the Rambler, of Swansea, was washed overboard 
and drowned. 

February 4. — The foundation-stone of the Wesleyan 
Day-schools was laid this da}-. 

February 12. — During the past week great quan- 
tities of sprat have been taken, which sold at 3s. 6d. 
to 4s. per gurry for manure. 

February 18. — Annual meeting of the Batten Fishing 
Company ; dividend £6 per share. 



276 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

February 28. — Interred this day Elizabeth Bennetts, 
aged ninety-eight. Recently died John Quick, aged 
eighty-seven, and Richard Grenfell, aged eighty-six. 

March 16. — A great fall of snow, and we have had 
twelve days' sharp frost. 

March 25. — Seven boats went out to try for mackerel. 

March 27. — Highest boat 300, sold at 24s. per 
hundred. 

March 30. — Mr. Smedley preached the Wesleyan 
Missionary sermons. 

April 27. — News brought from St. Agnes that there 
were four men on the " Modrops " Rock. Instantly 
the boat Thomas was manned and proceeded towards 
the rock, and at about 9 a.m., after great exertions, 
succeeded in rescuing the men from their perilous 
position. They were the crew of the schooner Agnes, 
of this port, John Richards master, she having struck 
on the "Modrops" during a gale from the W.S.W. 
and very thick with rain. The crew took to the boat 
and reached the rock, where they remained twenty- 
four hours without food and only half clothed. They 
were descried by a woman and a boy who took the 
news to St. Agnes, when a messenger was sent to 
St. Ives, it being thought that the vessel belonged to 
this place. 

May 31. — During the past month the drift-boats have 
had good catches of mackerel. 

July 1. — Drift-boats, from 700 to 2,000 pilchards. 

July 8. — First stone of the Penzance new pier laid 
to-day. 

July 14. — Sailed the Blanche for Bona in the Mediter- 
ranean. 

July 23. — The schooner Reward, George Anthony 
master, laden with a cargo of copper-ore, value ,£1,000, 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 277 

left this Roadstead and afterwards struck on the 
Shoaler Stone, the crew having just time to get out 
their boat when the ship foundered. 

August 4. — Sailed the Victoria, Thomas Daniel 
master, for North America. 

August 12. — Last evening news was received that 
on the 8th inst., at 10 p.m., the Eden and the Bideford 
schooners got into collision, when the latter vessel 
foundered. 

August 13. — Drift-boats landed to-day about 150 
hogsheads pilchards. 

August 18. — The seaners were put in pay and the 
boats stemmed ; total, 189 seans. 

August 20. — Some sort of unknown blight has so 
injured the potato crops that it is feared the same will 
be an entire failure.* 

August 28. — Several shoals of fish seen in the Bay. 

September 9. — Eive seans were shot at 5.30 a.m. ; 
very small shoals, and small fish ; sold at 16s. per gurry. 

September 21. — Drift-fish sold to Messrs. Bolitho at 
45s. per hogshead. 

October 3. — Drift-boats have been getting good 
catches of mackerel. One Mount's Bay boat carried 
away her foremast, which obliged her to come this 
side of the land with 5,000 mackerel; sold at 12s. per 
hundred. 

October 15. — Hocking and Co. shot at Porthminster, 
and caught six boat-loads of pilchards. 

October 28. — Bolitho and Co. shot a sean at the 
Leigh. 

November 4. — Eleven seans shot to-day at the various 
stems. 

* 1845 was t' ic y ear °f the partial failure of the potato crops in 
Ireland, and 1846 the year of the potato famine. 



2;8 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

November 7. — Several seans shot to-day, enclosing 
about 2,500 hogsheads pilchards. 

November 24. — The Victoria Company enclosed a 
shoal of herrings at the Poll with their Carrack 
Gladden boat, and received notice of trial from the 
Union Company, in whose stem they took the fish. 
Every year since their formation, the Victoria Com- 
pany have committed depredations by infringing the 
Act of Parliament. 

November 26. — A number of seans shot to-day. 
Hichens and Co. took 3,000 hogsheads at the Poll ; 
Bolitho's 2,500 hogsheads, Red Balls 1,500 hogsheads. 
Wearne's took 1,000 hogsheads at Porthminster, Union 
Company 1,000 hogsheads, besides some smaller shoals. 
In all about 10,000 hogsheads have been enclosed 
to-day. 

December 1. — Tremearne and Co. took a small shoal 
of pilchards. 

December 2. — Boats on the drift, from 20,000 pilchards. 

December 14. — Three seans shot, and took about 200 
gurries of herring. 

December 23. — At 8.30 a.m. a large brig was seen to 
the eastward of Godrevy Island. About this time they 
discovered that she would not weather the island, it 
being about half-flood tide. She then attempted the 
Inner Sound, and after striking twice succeeded in 
getting through. The rudder being disabled, they 
were compelled to run the vessel on shore about 
half-a-mile to the westward of Gwithian River. At 
low water the crew, nine in number, were brought 
safely to shore. She proved to be the Dorothy, of 
Sunderland, from Cardiff, laden with railway-iron, 
for Goole, in Yorkshire. Wind N.N.E., a heavy gale. 

December 27. — The brig Ann lost near Bude ; crew 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 279 

saved, except one man, who fell from the yard and was 
killed. 

December 30. — The schooner Sarah lost near Ilfra- 
combe. Crew saved. 

December 31. — The total quantity of pilchards ex- 
ported from St. Ives to the Mediterranean this season 
has been 18,847 hogsheads ; price from 40s. to 54s. 6d. 
per hogshead, or a value of say £45,000. Thirty-three 
vessels loaded here ; two of them with about 800 hogs- 
heads were lost in a heavy gale on the 19th January, 
1846. The total quantity exported from the county 
was 30,807 hogsheads. 

January 2, 1846. — Several of the fish vessels sailed 
that had been detained by the boisterous state of the 
weather. 

January 18. — News arrived that the brig Joe, of St. 
Jves, Samuel R. Semmens master, was lost after 
collision with a French brig. Crew saved by taking 
to their boat, and gaining the French vessel. They 
were landed at La Rochelle, and then put on board 
a Hamburg ship and afterward landed at Falmouth. 

February 14. — Sailed the Blanche from Hayle. 

March 12. — Ruth Company fishing concern sold to 
Batten and Co. 

April 1. — Wesleyan missionary anniversary; total 
collections, £128 16s. 8d. 

Aprils. — All the mackerel-boats put to sea the second 
time for the season. 

Arrived the brig, newly purchased for Captain 
George Morton. 

April 9.— Mackerel-boats from 1,000 down, sold at 
16s. per hundred. 

May 5. — A great many boats from the Mount's Bay 
came to land, having from 300 to 1,500 mackerel, which 



28o PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

sold for the Bristol markets at 13s. per hundred. Some 
St. Ives boats as high as 7,000. 

May 18. — Recently died James Quick, aged ninety- 
six, and Captain David Dysart, aged eighty-four. 

June 1. — Whit Monday. The Brilliant steamer 
sailed on an excursion to the Lizard. 

June 9. — Boats left for Ireland for the herring 
fishery. 

July 3. — Thomas E. Stevens fell into the hold on 
board the Antigua Planter and was killed. 

July 8. — One boat, 4,000 pilchards ; sold at 2s. per 
hundred. 

July 9. — Drift-boats, from 10,000 to 16,000 fine 
pilchards. 

July 15. — Lord William Powlett arrived in town 
and commenced his canvass to succeed William 
Tyringham Praed, Esq., deceased. 

July 21. — This day Lord William Powlett was elected 
member for the borough without opposition, in the 
room of the late Mr. Praed, and quitted the town on 
board the Cornwall steamer for Bristol. 

July 27. — A memorial was sent to the Lords of the 
Admiralty in favour of St. Ives Bay as a site for a 
Harbour of Refuge. 

August 2. — Some shoals of pilchards seen from the 
hills. 

August 5. — Boats, from 3,000 to 25,000 pilchards. 

August 6. — The Red Ball Company and Victoria 
Company shot scans on sprat. 

August 8. — Drift-boats landed about 100 hogsheads 
pilchards. 

Captain Vivian Stevens cast the Victoria Company 
in costs and the value of the shoal of herrings, £150, 
caught by them with their Carrack Gladden boat in the 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 281 

Poll stem last season. The case was heard at Bodmin 
last Wednesday. 

The dispute between the Victoria Company and 
Hichens and Co. about the shoal of mackerel was 
settled b}' mutual consent. 

August 13. — Arrived the Blanche, from Rouen in 
ballast. 

August 17. — Seaners went into pay; one-half the 
seans taken out this year by agreement. 

September 7. — Three seans shot to-day ; small shoals. 

September 11. — Five seans shot to-day. 

September 17. — Drift-boats, from 1,000 mackerel; sold 
at 12s. per hundred, for the Bristol market. 

October 1. — Drift-boats, catches of herring. 

October 16. — Tremearne and Co. shot a sean at 
Pednolver. 

October 20. — Captain Vetch, R.N., sent down by the 
Admiralty to survey the Bay as a site for a Harbour 
of Refuge. 

October 25. — The boat Kate boarded the barque 
Mary Ann, waterlogged and abandoned. She is 
timber-laden, and has drifted on shore at Morvah. 

October 27. — From 10 a.m. until evening twenty-two 
seans shot at different stems, and at a moderate 
calculation not less than 25,000 hogsheads pilchards 
have been enclosed. 

November 17. — Arrived the Devon steamer from 
Dublin, out four days ; landed her passengers and 
took a supply of coal. 

November 24. — News arrived that the schooner Mary, 
George Care master, was driven from her anchors and 
stranded on Bury Bar, with loss of cables and anchors 
and both masts. Crew saved. 

The Elizabetli schooner, Gyles Gudge master, was 



282 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

wrecked near the Nash Point. Crew saved. Six 
vessels have been lost near Llanelly. 

November 27. — Drift-boats, large catches of herrings, 
pilchards, and mackerel, with quantities of line fish. 

December 2. — Several pieces of mahogany picked up 
by the boats. 

December 10. — A strong gale N.N.W. The brigantine 
Thomas, of St. Ives, Daniel Hollow master, laden with 
copper-ore, from St. Ives for Swansea, missed stays 
when working into the pier, and was driven on 
Pednolver Rocks. The crew were saved, but in a 
short time the vessel was destroyed. The Revenna, of 
Scilly, ran for Hayle Bar and got in safely ; but a large 
schooner, called the Marquis, of Limerick, grounded 
on the Western Spits. 

December 21. — Arrived the Victotia from Quebec, 
twenty-seven days' passage. 

December 31. — The total number of hogsheads of 
pilchards exported from St. Ives to the Mediterranean 
this season is 20,417; price 30s. to 38s. per hogshead. 
Thirty-five vessels loaded here. The total export for 
the county is 34,527 hogsheads. 

February 8, 1847. — The Mary, of Hayle, that left 
Hayle with many other vessels, has not since been 
heard of. 

February 21. — Two collections were made in the 
Wesleyan Chapel in aid of the Irish Distress Fund. 

March 3. — Price of provisions : Wheat flour, 2|d. per 
pound ; barley, 2d. ; pork, 5f d. ; beef, 7d. to 8d. ; mutton, 
6d. to 7d. ; potatoes, is. per gallon, and very little to be 
obtained at that price on account of the general failure 
of the potato crops; butter, is. id. per pound. 

March 17. — Landed this day the crew, fourteen in 
number, of the brig Affiance, of Goole, that struck 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 283 

on the Rundle Stone the previous night, and foundered 
near Whitsand Bay. She was from London, with 
350 tons general cargo for Galway in Ireland. 

May 11. — Mackerel-boats landed from 1,500 to 3,000 
fish ; sold at 10s. 6d. per hundred. 

May 17. — A strong gale from S. ; about fifty 
Mount's Bay boats came into the pier, and landed 
from 100 to 2,500 mackerel. 

May 27. — The miners from the western mines 
assembled at Penzance to endeavour to get corn and 
flour sold to them at a reduced price. 

June 4. — Tumult at Pool with the miners, who broke 
into a store and took flour and other provisions. 

June 18. — The potato crops are again attacked with 
the potato disease. 

An Election 

July 7, 1847. — Mr. Robertson commenced canvassing 
on Wellesley's interest. 

July 12. — Messrs. Millett and Co. commenced can- 
vassing the town on behalf of Lord William Powlett. 

July 27. — Writs for the election publicly read. 

July 28. — Mr. Robertson gave up the contest, and 
quitted the town at 11 p.m., the majority of votes being 
given to Lord William Powlett. 

August 2. — The polling commenced at 8 a.m., and 
ended at 4 p.m., when the numbers were declared 
as follows : 

Lord William Powlett ... ... ... 322 

Peter Borthwiek, Esq. ... ... ... 166 

Majority for Lord Powlett ... 156 

Mr. Borthwiek gave up the contest at 2 p.m. 
August 13. — Sailed the Hope for Leghorn. 



284 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

August 17. — The sean-owners have united to form 
one concern. They will commence fishing on the 
30th inst, with four boats' crews, all to share alike. 

September 13. — Three seans shot at the Poll, one 
at the Leigh, and one at Pednolver. 

September 22. — Sailed from Hayle the iron steamer 
built at Harvey's Foundry for a tug-boat on the Rhine. 
She is called the Prussian Eagle. 

September 27. — Several large shoals of pilchards 
passed through Porthminster stem ; the tides, being 
high, prevented the boats going deep enough to catch 
the fish. 

September 28. — Arrived the Blanche from Nantes. 

October 4. — Four seans shot to-day. 

October 26. — Several seans shot to-day. 

November 1. — No less than nineteen seans have been 
shot to-day at the various stems, and enormous 
quantities of pilchards have been enclosed ; it is esti- 
mated more than 20,000 hogsheads. 

November 23. — Large shoals of fish passed through 
the stems. 

November 24. — Tremearne and Co., Hocking Com- 
pany, and Hichens and Co., each shot a sean and 
caught fish ; Batten Company shot and missed. 

November 25. — Two seans shot at Porthminster; 
Sharemen Company shot at Pednolver, and the sean 
went round the Head. 

November 26. — Hichens and Co. shot a sean at 
Carrack Gladden. 

December 4. — The Breakwater report from the 
Admiralty publicly read in the Town Hall by Samuel 
Hocking, Esq. 

December 8. — A large barque, with mainmast gone, 
seen running for the Gannel. Since heard that she 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 285 

ran on shore, three men drowned. She proved to be 
the Marquis of Abercorn, from Quebec, last from 
Cork, bound for London, laden with deals. The 
remainder of the crew, twenty-six in number, were 
saved. 

December 21. — News received of the loss of the 
schooner Kate, Humphrey Fry master, on the coast 
of Ireland. 

January 13, 1848. — Died Captain Thomas Bawden, 
aged eighty-seven. 

February 10. — News arrived of the loss of the 
schooner Ann, of St. Ives, on the south end of Lundy. 
Crew drowned, except a boy passenger, who got on 
the island. 

The total quantity of pilchards exported to the 
Mediterranean from St. Ives for the past season, from 
October 30, 1847, to January 17, 1848, has been no less 
than 30,100 hogsheads, the largest quantity ever ex- 
ported from St. Ives in one season. Fifty-five vessels 
loaded here for various Mediterranean ports. The 
total for the county is 41,623 hogsheads; prices from 
30s. to 36s. 6d. per hogshead. At the lowest figure 
the sum realized by the Pilchard Fishery in St. Ives 
this season is £45,000. 

February 21. — Picked up a quantity of wreckage 
marked " Eagle." 

Mr. James Young died, aged fifty. 

March 1. — A strong gale W. by N. The ground sen 
is running and rising to an extent scarcely ever 
remembered before. 

March 7. — At 9 a.m. the schooner John, of North 
Wales, came on shore on the Ridge about half ebb, 
and soon after she struck the two masts went by the 
board. The vessel became dry at low water, and crew 



286 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

saved. She came off on the flowing tide by the help 
of the Quay warp. 

At 8 a.m. the brigantine Fame, of Hayle, Spry master, 
came on shore near Portreath, and became a total 
wreck, the master, mate, boy, with a woman passenger 
and three children, were drowned. Two of the crew 
saved. 

March 28. — Boats on the drift, 100 to 3,000 mackerel, 
sold at 14s. 6d. per hundred. 

April 2. — Wesleyan Missionary Services ; total col- 
lections for the anniversary, £75 14s. id. 

April 9. — At midnight a small schooner ran on the 
Stones and foundered. Three men took to the boat 
and landed near Hayle Bar, but the fourth man, going 
below to fetch something, went down with the vessel. 

May 1. — Interred Mr. Thomas Matthews, aged 
eighty-nine. 

May 2. — Only one boat shot last night ; took 1,250 
mackerel. Sold for 33s. per hundred to the steamer 
for Bristol. 

May 5. — St. Ives and Mount's Bay boats landed 100 to 
5,000 mackerel each ; sold at 5s. to 7s. 6d. per hundred. 

June 19. — One boat sailed for Whitby and others for 
Ireland for the herring fisheries. 

June 23. — Batten and Co. Fishing Concern held the 
annual meeting ; dividend, £3 per share. 

July 15. — Two men drowned on Hayle Bar; George 
Gilbert and John Bryant, natives of Hayle. 

August 8. — Gasworks discontinued making gas on 
account of necessary repairs. 

August 12. — Sailed the Victoria for Quebec, with 
emigrants. 

September 16. — Seaners went in pay ; total seans 
this season, 196. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 287 

October 21. — Messrs. Hichens and Co. took a large 
shoal of pilchards at Porthminster. 

October 29. — Hichens and the Union Company shot 
on sprat ; Wearne and Co. shot a sean at Porth- 
minster, and took about 400 hogsheads pilchards. 

November 10. — The boats went off about four leagues 
from the Head to the wreck of a vessel, but could not 
succeed in bringing her to land. 

November 15. — Drift-boats, from 100 to 3,000 mackerel ; 
one boat, 3,000 pilchards ; good catches of line fish. 

November 18. — Hichens and Co. shot a fine shoal of 
pilchards at Cam Crowse, but lost the fish owing to 
the tow-boats being in alongside the quay. Every man 
in those tow-boats ought to be discharged immediately. 

November 22. — Boats on the drift, from 100 to 7,000 
mackerel ; sold at 6s. per hundred. Some boats, 500 to 
1,800 herring ; sold at 2s. 6d. per hundred. 

November 24. — Wind N. by E. D. L. Ninnes went 
down to the Poll in his boat, and would most likely 
have been lost if a gig's crew had not gone down 
at 1 1 p.m., at great risk, and towed him home. 

November 26. — Hichens and Co. offered 55s. per 
hogshead for their fish. 

November 30. — One boat, 30,000 pilchards ; another, 
20,000 herrings. 

December 1. — Union Company shot a sean at Cam 
Crowse, and caught about twenty gurries of herring. 

December 4. — Blanche began to load pilchards for 
Genoa. 

December 6. — Boats, large catches of herrings ; sold at 
2s. 6d. per hundred. 

December 7. — The cargo per the Blanche sold to 
Messrs. Eox for 63s. per hogshead, and all the rest at 
60s. per hogshead. Blanche loaded 449 hogsheads. 



288 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

December 14. — Schooner James Weame, from Fal- 
mouth for Limerick, corn-laden, from the Mediter- 
ranean, lost in Mount's Bay with all her crew. 

December 18. — Came into port the Welcome Return^ 
of Falmouth, and foundered in the harbour, having 
been in collision with a brigantine near the Three 
Stone Ore. The mate is missing, and whether drowned 
or on board the other vessel is unknown. 

December 31. — The total quantity of pilchards ex- 
ported this season is 2,669 hogsheads — viz. : Blanche, 
of St. Ives, for Genoa, with 449 ; Johanna, of Hayle, for 
Genoa, 550 ; Racer, of Jersey, for Leghorn, 550 ; Eagle's 
Wing, of Dartmouth, for Naples, 540 ; and Providential, 
of Dartmouth, for Naples, with 580 hogsheads. 

January 10, 1849. — News arrived of the loss of the 
schooner Maria in Swansea Bay, crew saved. 

February 16. — News arrived of the supposed loss of 
the brig Valliant, of St. Ives, William Cogar master, 
on her passage from Portreath to Swansea, her boat 
having been picked up, stove and bottom up, with four 
oars and a kedge-anchor buoy, and carried to Swansea ; 
and as the Maid of Erin, of Truro, William Harry 
master, has arrived from Newport, and reported being 
in collision with an unknown vessel, it is feared the 
same must have been the Valliant, and that she has 
foundered with all hands. The Maid of Erin has her 
jib-boom, bobstay, and cutwater carried away, and 
other damage. 

March 9. — Many mackerel boats shot, the first time 
for the season. 

April 1. — Missionary sermons preached in the 
Wesleyan Chapel. 

April 19. — Wind N.E., a strong gale; no boats at 
sea. Two vessels wrecked in Mount's Bay. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 289 

May 14. — At 9.30 a.m. the Ono, of St. Ives, Captain 
Thomas Brooking Williams, with eighty-two emi- 
grants, sailed for Quebec. Arrived the Hayle, Captain 
W. Sampson, bound for Limerick. 

June 12. — Went to Redruth. 

July 16. — A great number of playing shoals of fish 
seen on the coast, some of them in the stems. 

July 25. — Died Captain Jasper Williams, aged fifty. 
Captain James Jennings died at sea of cholera, and 
was buried at Milford. 

July 28. — Boats, from 8,000 to 20,000 fine pilchards. 

August 7. — Sailed the Victoria for Quebec with four- 
teen emigrants. 

August 15. — Sailed the Jasper for Hamburg; arrived 
the Ono. 

August 27. — Two seans shot at the Leigh ; Bolitho's 
and Hichens', and Tremearne's shot on sprat. 

August 30. — Two women died to-day of cholera. 

September 2. — This morning a man died of cholera 
on board a Jersey smack in the roadstead; he was 
brought on shore at 6.30 p.m., and buried in the new 
burial-ground. 

September 15. — Boats, from 300 to 1,000 mackerel ; 
sold at 5s. per hundred. 

September 18. — Several seans shot to-day, enclosing 
about 1,000 hogsheads pilchards. 

September 28. — A day of general thanksgiving to 
Almighty God for averting or abating throughout the 
United Kingdom the pestilential disease of cholera 
that has been making such rapid havoc among the 
people. 

October 15. — Several seans shot at Newquay. 

October 17. — Drift - boats, from 4,000 to 10,000 
pilchards. 



2 9 o PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

October 18. — Bolitho shot a sean at Pednolver ; 
another at the Leigh. Tremearne shot a sean. 

October 23. — Drift-boats, small catches of pilchards, 
herring, and mackerel. 

November 7. — Pilchards sold at 54s. per hogshead. 

November's. — Ten seans shot to-day at various stems. 

November 10. — Four seans shot to-day. 

November 15. — Strong gale N.N.W. Two seans 
taken from their moorings in the Poll, and carried on 
the Western Spits; the fish (about 1,000 hogsheads) 
escaped, but the nets are not much injured. 

November 29. — About midnight the Aurora, of Ply- 
mouth, coal-laden, from Newport, went on shore in 
Paully's Cove, and became a total wreck. The crew 
took to the boat, and landed safely at this port. 

December 10. — Bolitho shot two seans, one at the 
Poll and the other at Porthminster. Owing to the 
great quantity of fish enclosed, the former sean swung 
on the Carrack and was lost ; the latter sean got foul 
of an anchor, and all the fish escaped, except about 
60 hogsheads. It is estimated that the two seans 
enclosed not less than 8,000 to 10,000 hogsheads 
pilchards. 

December 12. — Opened the road to commence laying 
the pipes for the Terrace lamps. 

December 21. — Drift-boats, from 2,000 to 3,000 pil- 
chards ; such late catches have not been known for 
many years. 

December 31. — Came on-shore on Porthmeor Beach 
a ship's name Louisa, of Bideford, John Blackmore 
master, and some pieces of bulwarks. 

The total quantity of pilchards exported to the 
Mediterranean from St. Ives this season is 11,480 
hogsheads; prices, 50s. to 55s. per hogshead. Twenty- 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 291 

four vessels loaded here. Total number of seans, 197; 
two immense shoals enclosed and lost December 10. 

January 19, 1850. — Went to Penzance to settle the 
fishery accounts ; shared £6 per share. 

January 26. — News arrived of the loss of William 
Berriman, of Neath, son of Mr. William Berriman, of 
this place. He was washed overboard with another 
seaman from the Panope, Samuel Semmens master, 
when on a voyage from Gallipoli to Liverpool. 

February 11. — The news of the Mary Welsh being 
driven on shore at Ancona in a gale of wind was made 
known this morning. 

February 25. — News arrived of the loss of the Jane, 
Edward Paynter master ; foundered off Worms Head. 

February 27. — Thomas Uren drowned himself by 
jumping off Carthew Point. 

March 21. — John T. Short and Thomas Williams* 
elected auditors, and Charles Tremearne and Andrew 
Stevens assessors, for the borough. 

March 25. — News arrived of the Dasher, Henry 
Jennings master, being a total loss on Bideford Bar. 
The boy, named John Ninnes, was drowned. 

March 29. — Wind S.E. ; a very strong gale. At 
2 p.m. a schooner, when working to land on her star- 
board tack, carried away both masts by the board 
about five miles from the Head. A brig passed close 
alongside, but rendered no assistance. Some time 
after the brig came close to the Head and tacked with 
his head from the land, when it was seen with a good 
glass that she was called the Fame, of London. 

We have since heard that the schooner was called 
the Swift, of Exeter, and that she succeeded in getting 
to Milford. 

* The former prisoners of war in France. 



292 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

April 13. — Boats this week have had good catches of 
mackerel, but prices have been very low. 

May 7. — Some hundreds of swifts (the black martin) 
have visited the town ; many of them have been 
captured. 

May 29. — Boats during the week, 300 to 3,000 
mackerel ; prices from 4s. 3d. to 8s. per hundred. 

June 17. — Seek boat landed thirteen casks Cognac 
brandy. 

June 18. — Richard landed two casks, Countess of 
Fortescue one cask brandy. 

July 7. — Three drift-boats, from 3,000 to 5,000 
pilchards. 

July 18. — Sailed the Earl of Clancarty from the 
Roadstead for Liverpool from Rouen. 

July 26. — Boats, from 5,000 to 24,000 pilchards ; cured 
for foreign market. 

August 14. — Red Balls concern shot a sean at Cam 
Crowse; took about 55 hogsheads. 

August 19. — Three seans shot : Tremearne and Co. 
at Porthminster, Victoria Company at Carrack Gladden, 
and Hocking Company at the Poll. 

August 20. — Two seans shot to-day, enclosing about 
i,ooo hogsheads. 

August 28. — Four seans shot to-day ; very little fish 
caught ; some missed and others shot on sprat. 

September 3. — Sailed the brig Paragon, Charles Short 
master, for Galatz, laden with iron. 

September 11. — Two seans shot to-day; Bolitho's 
missed the fish. 

September 28. — Bolitho's shot a sean at the Poll ; 
caught about 400 hogsheads. 

October 4. — Bolitho's shot three seans and Wearne 
Company one ; all proved successful. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 293 

October 12. — The Charles, of Mevagissey, when warp- 
ing out of the Pier, got aground on the Ridge, but 
floated next tide and proceeded to sea. 

October 14. — Bolitho's shot a sean at the Leigh on 
sprat. 

October 16. — Wearne Company shot at the Poll, 
Victoria Company at Carrack Gladden, Bolitho's two 
seans at the Leigh, and Wearne's at Pednolver after 
dark. 

Died John Sisley, aged eighty-two. 

November 2. — Wearne and Co. took a shoal of fish at 
Porthminster. 

November 5. — Several seans shot to-day, enclosing 
about 1,100 hogsheads pilchards. 

November 12. — One boat, 600 mackerel, sold at 10s. 6d. 
per hundred ; no pilchards ; very few herring ; a great 
quantity of hake sold at 4s. per burn of 2 1 fish. 

November 21. — News arrived of the total loss at 
Gwithian of the Queen, of London, Cardiff for Italy, 
laden with tin-plates and rod iron. Crew drowned. 

November 23. — Two seans shot at Porthminster and 
caught fish. 

December 6. — A Mount's Bay boat picked up and 
delivered to the Customs eight boxes of gum, sup- 
posed to be part of the cargo of a French ship lost on 
Wednesday night on the Brissons. 

December 11. — The organ was opened in the Wes- 
leyan Chapel, and special sermons preached by the 
Rev. William Young, from Penzance. 

December 17. — A man picked up on the eastern shore, 
supposed to be one of the crew of the Queen, lost on 
the 20th ult. 

December 31. — The total quantity of pilchards ex- 
ported from St. Ives to the Mediterranean this season 



294 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

is 7,968 hogsheads ; price averaged rather over 50s. 
per hogshead. Fifteen vessels loaded here. En- 
closures were made by moonlight on October 16. 

The total quantity exported from St. Ives for the 
twelve years — 1839 to 1850 inclusive — has been 145,000 
hogsheads, or an average of 12,000 hogsheads per 
annum, allowing at a moderate estimate £2 per hogs- 
head ; this represents £24,000 per annum for this 
period as the income of St. Ives from the Pilchard 
Fishery. 

January 1, 185 1. — The new year commences with a 
strong gale from the S.W., with thick rain. 

January 8. — A heavy gale. The Blanche, Foxhole, 
Clara, Gower, Drake, and Marshall, all bound for Port- 
reath, ran for this harbour. 

Jamiary 9. — Picked up several parts of a wreck — 
hatches, part of a round house, a dog's house, a boom 
slightly varnished — all seeming to belong to some 
foreign vessel. 

January 12. — At noon seen from the Head a vessel, 
bottom up, supposed to belong to Cherburg, and 
capsized in the sudden gale of the 9th. The boats, 
seven in number, could not succeed in towing her to 
the land, and were forced to abandon her. 

Yesterday, near the Brissons, a brig called the 
New Commercial, of Whitby, was discovered on 
shore, a wreck. A black man was picked up, floating 
on a piece of wreck, and at 4 p.m. the Captain and 
his wife, the only other survivors, were taken from 
the Brissons Rock. The woman died soon after being- 
rescued, and the Captain lies in a dangerous condition. 

January 13. — The Cornwall steamer went out from 
Hayle in search of the wreck of the French vessel, but 
failed to find her. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 295 

January 22. — Sailed the Mystery, Edward Hain 
master, with 563 hogsheads pilchards for Naples ; also 
the Francis Yates, Paynter master, with 727 hogsheads 
for Naples. 

February 2.— Sailed the Blanche. 

March 5. — Sailed the Paragon for Cork. 

March 25. — Literary Institute opened this evening. 

April 10. — Wesleyan Missionary Services ; total col- 
lections, £^2 12s. 6d. 

April 17. — Cornwall Fishery Meeting at Penzance; 
dividend, £1 per share. 

The Census 

1851. — The Census was taken on April 1. Number 
of inhabitants : 



1851 
1841 
1 83 1 
1821 
1811 
1 801 



6,5°7 
5,656 

4,77 6 
3.526 
^,281 



2 >7'4 

In 1749 the total for the town and parish was 1,850. 
May 4. — The Clara, Captain Morton, arrived from 

Cherburg, and never hoisted his colours, for which he 

was only reprimanded by the collector. 

May 13. — Boats, from 500 to 1,500 mackerel ; sold at 

12s. 6d. per hundred for the steamer, and 5s. 6d. for 

home consumption. 

Smugglers 

J unc 1, 1 <S 5 1. — During the night several men were dis- 
covered escorting a spring cart, laden with contraband 
goods, out of the town. It is said that chief boatman 
Cocks was knocked down in trying to stop the cart 
near the hotel. It is supposed that the smuggled 



2 9 6 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

goods were landed from the smack belonging to 
Captain James Williams. 

June 1 8. — One boat sailed for the Irish herring 
fishery. 

July 3. — The smack St. George, James Williams 
master, released, after being detained twice by the 
Customs on suspicion of landing the contraband 
goods. 

July 9. — Red Balls shot at Pednolver ; caught 1,000 
mackerel and nearly that quantity of gurnards. 

July 25. — Mr. Knill's virgins marched to Cock Hill 
and danced round the monument. 

August 5. — Arrived the Victoria from Quebec, 
Captain Morshead. 

August 7. — Three seans shot 3'esterday and two 
to-day, enclosing about 700 hogsheads pilchards. 

September 23. — Drift-boats, from 300 to 600 mackerel ; 
sold at 14s. 3d. per hundred. 

September 30. — Tremearne's shot a sean at Porth- 
minster and missed. 

October 1. — A large number of seans shot to-day at 
the various stems. 

October 2. — Six seans to-day shot at the various 
stems. 

October 8. — Fish all landed, about 6,700 hogsheads. 

October iy. — Several seans shot during the day. 

October 21. — Wearne and Co. shot at Carrack Gladden 
and Hocking and Co. at Porthminster. 

October 24. — Messrs. Bolitho's, Hichens', Bazeley and 
Co. finished taking up their fish to-day from the two 
Porthminster seans ; the total quantity being near 
7,000 hogsheads. 

The Camilla, of this port, Captain Edward Hain, and 
the Venus, of Penzance, Captain Bawden, on entering 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 297 

the Bute Docks, Cardiff, got jammed, when the Camilla 
immediately sunk, the Venus falling over ; they were, 
however, got off next tide, and are now awaiting a 
survey. The Camilla was afterwards declared a total 
loss. 

October 28. — Twelve seans shot to-day at different 
stems, enclosing, it is estimated, not less than 12,000 
hogsheads. 

October 29. — Wind E.N.E., a strong gale. Two of 
the Porthminster seans very much damaged and the 
fish lost. At noon all the seans round the Point are 
still riding, but if the gale continues, they will be torn 
to pieces and all the fish lost. 

October 31. — Fish all gone and seans taken up much 
damaged. 

November 18. — Cornwall Company shot a sean at 
Porthminster. 

November 30. — The Mystery, Edward Hain master, 
that sailed yesterday for the Mediterranean with 
pilchards (570 hogsheads), came back into the Bay, 
when the wind, being more easterly, she again pro- 
ceeded. 

December 31. — The total quantity of pilchards ex- 
ported from St. Ives to the Mediterranean this season 
is 16,470 hogsheads ; average price 42s. per hogshead. 
Thirty-one vessels loaded here for various Mediter- 
ranean ports, the total quantity for the county being 
26,736 hogsheads. Large catches were made at St. 
Ives in October; from one sean alone the hitherto 
unprecedented quantity of 5,500 hogsheads were taken 
up and cured. On October 28 further enclosures 
were made, but the fish escaped owing to bad weather. 
Several whales seen among the pilchards this year. 
Total number of seans, 237. 



298 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

February 2, 1852. — The Rev. John Dunkin Adams 
was interred at 11 a.m. He was minister of Towed- 
nack for four years, and was greatly respected by the 
people of that parish and also in St. Ives, where he 
resided and where he died. 

February 13. — A Camborne lass was tried for steal- 
ing 2s. from the shop of Mr. T. Quick, and sent to 
Bodmin for two months. 

March 18. — One boat, 300 mackerel, sold at 2^d. and 
3d. each. 

March 22. — Edward Hain died this evening. 

April 2. — The barque Panope was launched at 
2.30 p.m. She went off in splendid style. 

April 23. — A great many boats left for Ireland for 
the herring fishery. 

April 28. — The smack Hope, of Salcombe, George 
Rundle master, when working down channel, struck 
on the Stones and foundered. Crew saved in the boat. 
She was from Neath, bound for Totnes, laden with 
culm. 

April 30. — Dr. Bevan's stable was burned down, 
and great fears were entertained that the adjoining 
houses would take fire ; but the fire was got under 
by the exertions of a few able and active young men. 

An Election 

May 1, 1852. — Captain Laffan, R.E., addressed the 
electors in the Town Hall. 

May 10. — Captain Laffan addressed the electors on 
the Quay at 9 a.m., professing to be a supporter of 
Free Trade and no Bread Tax. 

May 1 1. — Mr. Hussy Vivian, son of Squire Vivian, of 
Swansea, came into the town (invited by a requisition) 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 299 

as a candidate, at 8 p.m. He declared his political 
opinions in the Town Hall to a crowded assembly — a 
Free Trader throughout. 

May 12. — Mr. Vivian canvassed the town. 

May 14.— Mr. Paull, Mr. Vivian, and the agents for 
Mr. Laffan actively canvassing. 

June 17.— Mr. Hussy Vivian left for Truro. 

July 3. — Mr. Burns addressed the electors. 

July 5.— Mr. Paull and Mr. Laffan actively can- 
vassing. 

July 9. — At 10 a.m. the three candidates — Mr. Paull, 
Mr. Laffan, and Mr. Barnes — met at the Town Hall, 
and were there nominated. Mr. Paull by Mr. William 
Bazeley ; Mr. Laffan by Mr. Hocking, seconded by 
Mr. J. N. Tremearne ; and Mr. Barnes by Captain 
Vivian Stevens, seconded by Mr. Docton, whose speech 
far surpassed any speech I ever heard in our Town 
Hall by any candidate or member. 

July 10. — The polling commenced at the Town Hall, 
and resulted as follows : 

Laffan ... ... ... ... ... 256 

Paul] ... ... ... ... ... 218 

Barnes ... ... ... ... ... 18 

Majority for Laffan ... 38 

1 never witnessed such a concourse of people as 
perambulated the streets both before and after the 
election, but everything ended in a very peaceful 
manner, and no fighting or disturbance took place. 
Thus ended a contest which has lasted nearly eight 
weeks. 

July 13.— At 4 p.m. all those who had promised their 
votes to Henry Hussy Vivian, Esq. (who was on 
Friday elected M.P. for the Borough of Truro), were 



300 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

entertained at a public dinner at Messrs. Bolitho's old 
Custom House Loft; present on the occasion, H. H. 
Vivian, Esq., M.P., Messrs. Bazeley, Hocking, Jacock, 
and others. The company seemed well pleased with 
the speeches delivered by several electors and well- 
wishers to the reformers. 

July 2j. — Last night the billy-boy Liberty, of London, 
shipped a sea and sprang a leak, and this morning the 
crew took to their boat and landed at this port. A 
pilot gig afterwards went out to the vessel, made sail, 
and brought her without difficulty into the harbour. 

August ii. — Wind E.N.E., a strong gale. The 
schooner Promethus, of St. Ives, Berriman master, 
went on shore near Gurnard's Head. Crew saved. 
Pearl brig, of Hayle, White master, went on shore 
near Portreath ; and the schooner A uspicious, of Hayle, 
Spray master, near St. Agnes. Several vessels came 
into port, and others at anchor in the Bay, with loss of 
sails and spars. If the gale continued a few hours 
longer, there must have been a great loss of shipping, 
if not of life. There are three vessels on shore on 
Hayle Bar, another schooner near St. Agnes, and one 
near the Land's End. 

August 16. — Bolitho's shot a sean at Porthminster, 
and another at Carrack Gladden. 

The wreck of the Promethus was got off this after- 
noon and towed to this port. 

August 21. — Nine persons left St. Ives for Australia. 

August 24. — Three seans shot on small shoals. 

August 27. — The regatta took place, commencing at 
1.30 p.m. ; the wind, being light, prevented the lugger- 
boats from sailing, but the sean-boats, four-oared 
boats, and gigs made good races, as also the sean- 
boats manned by blovvsers. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 301 

October 6. — Drift-boats, from 3,000 mackerel ; sold at 
10s. per hundred. 

October 17. — Interred this day Captain William 
Trewhella, aged seventy-four. 

October 21. — Drift-boats to-day landed about £150 
worth of mackerel. 

October 27. — Wind N.N.E., a strong gale. In the 
forenoon a schooner was seen off the tail of the Stones 
with her head to the eastward, and she afterwards 
ran on shore at Perranporth. She is named the Queen 
Victoria, of London, Charles Wilson master, laden 
with salt, from Liverpool for London. Captain, mate, 
and two of the crew were drowned ; one man saved. 
If he had any knowledge of the coast, he might have 
brought the vessel safely into St. Ives. 

The brig Velocity, of Waterford, laden with oats, is a 
total wreck at Towan Porth. Crew, eight in number, 
saved. This vessel might also have come safely into 
St. Ives. 

November 1. —Mr. John Newman Tremearne chosen 
Mayor for the ensuing year. 

November 17. — A strong gale; several vessels came 
into port with loss of spars and sails. A large 
Norwegian ship from Bristol, homeward bound, came 
into port with the loss of most of her canvas. 

November 18. — A general holiday on account of the 
interment of the Duke of Wellington, which took place 
in London this forenoon. 

November 20. — Some drift-boats, 2,000 herrings mixed 
with pilchards. 

November 25.— Yesterday morning at daybreak a 
vessel was discovered on shore to the eastward of the 
Black Cliff. She proved to be the schooner Polly, 
laden with rock salt and copper. The crew, six in 



302 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

number, took to the boat, but, unfortunately, she got 
stove before they cut the painter, and all were drowned 
excepting one man, who was driven on shore on 
an oar. 

December 5. — On Saturday Tremearne's shot a sean 
at Porthminster, and took up about 300 hogsheads of 
fine pilchards. 

December 16. — One of the drift-boats picked up and 
landed a man on the Quay, supposed to be the Captain's 
son of the schooner Polly, drowned on the 24th ult. 

December 31. — Only 2,755 hogsheads pilchards have 
been exported from St. Ives to the Mediterranean this 
season ; average price, 32s. 6d. per hogshead. Five 
vessels loaded here. 

January 7, 1853. — A general meeting held in the 
Town Hall to consider proposals for a new harbour. 

February 1 5. — The Ono, of St. Ives, came into collision 
with a vessel belonging to Swansea, when the latter 
foundered, with the loss of one man. 

March 2. — Attended the Annual Meeting of the Corn- 
wall Fishing Company ; shared ^"600, or £2 per share, 
with a balance in treasurer's hands of ^226 10s. 

April 6. — Anniversary of the Wesleyan Missions. 

April j. — Boats, from 1,800 mackerel ; sold at 16s. 6d. 
per hundred. 

April 28. — Drift-boats, from 400 to 3,500 mackerel ; 
sold at 6s. and 10s. 6d. per hundred. 

Mays- — On Saturday last on board a Bremen schooner 
from Cardiff, bound to Bremen laden with coals, when 
about ten leagues to the westward of Lundy, the boy 
went below with a lighted candle, when the cargo 
exploded, blowing the vessel up. One man was killed, 
another had his leg broken, and the boy very much 
burnt. The crew took to the boat, and were picked 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 303 

up by the Auspicious, of Hayle, Spray master, and 
landed at St. Ives. 

June 6. — The public lights through the town dis- 
continued, the old gasometer being condemned, to be 
replaced with a new one. 

June 13. — Humphry Geen, Joseph Wall, and William 
Veal are missing; their boat supposed to be run down 
and the men drowned. 

July 18. — This day there has been a great display of 
colours, cannons firing, and bonfires on the Quay and 
on the Terrace, and the hotel kept by Mr. George 
Wasley was illuminated, to celebrate the passing of the 
Bill for building the New Pier.* 

August 1. — Total number of seans this season, 252 ; 
one-quarter part put to sea — viz. : 

Bolitho, Hichens and Co. ... ... ... 21 

Tremearne and Co. ... ... ... ... 16 

Wearnc's Company ... ... ... ... 14 

Cornwall Company ... ... ... ... 11 

Total ... 62 

August 8. — A large quantity of fish escaped on the 
first low water, owing to the seans being warped too 
near the shore, and a large quantity killed for want of 
room in the nets. 

August 1 1. — Drift-boats, from 1,400 to 5,000 pilchards; 
sold at is. 8d. per hundred. 

August 26. — Tremearne and Co. shot a sean at 
Carrack Gladden, and took about 160 hogsheads 
pilchards. 

September 3. — Hocking and Co. took about 150 hogs- 
heads pilchards at Carrack Gladden. 

* Nothing was done under the St. Ives Harbour Act, 1853, but it 
was renewed by the Older of 1862, when the Wood Pier (now a 
wreck) was commenced. 



3 o4 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

September 7. — Bolitho's shot a sean at Porthminster 
and missed. 

September 9. — Arrived the Blanch, from Cardiff, bound 
to Corunna. 

September 30. — Tremearne and Co. shot two seans — 
one at Carrack Gladden, and one at Porthminster. 

October 3. — Twelve seans shot to-day at the different 
stems. 

October 8. — Fish stored during the week : 



Bolitho, Hichens and Co. 
Cornwall Company 
Hocking's, Wearne's, and Bazeley 
Tremearne and Co. 



Total 



Hogsheads. 

5,000 

560 

1,400 

3-500 

10,460 



November 9. — Mr. John Newman Tremearne unani- 
mously elected Mayor for the second time. Mr. Richard 
Hichens and Mr. Walter Yonge elected Aldermen. 
On the 1st inst. William C. Jalcock, John Stevens, 
W. W. Kempthorne, and Tonkin Young were chosen 
Councillors. 

December 4. — A great quantity of pilchards passed 
deep. 

December 21. — News arrived of the loss of the 
schooners Grace Darling and Harmony, near Llanelly. 

December 23. — News arrived this morning's post of 
the loss of the Bohemian Girl, Edward Hain, master, 
at Carlingford, Ireland. She was from Smyrna, bound 
to Liverpool. 

December 27. — At 4 p.m. the smack Princess Royal, 
from Milford, bound to Hayle, was driven on shore 
near Pednolver Rocks. Crew saved ; vessel became 
a total wreck. 

December 31. — The total quantity of pilchards ex- 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 305 

ported from St. Ives to the Mediterranean this season 
has been 11,527 hogsheads; price 35s. to 42s. 6d. per 
hogshead. Nineteen vessels loaded at this port. 

February 11, 1854. — Several Preventative men left to 
join H.M. Navy. They were immediately replaced by 
superannuated coastguardsmen. 

February 13. — Peter Noall was washed off the rocks 
at Clodgy Point and drowned. 

February 27. — About sixty young men left St. Ives 
to-day in the Queen steamer for Bristol, on their way 
to Liverpool to embark for Australia. 

April 26. — A day of general humiliation and prayer 
for the success of our Army and Navy in the war with 
Russia. 

May 3. — Drift-boats have been taking from 100 to 
700 mackerel; sold at 16s. to 26s. per hundred. 

May 4. — Annual meeting of the Cornwall Fishing 
Company. 

July 26. — One boat, 5,000 pilchards, sold at 2s. 3d. 
per hundred. 

August 15. — The seaners went into pay. 

August 23. — One sean shot at Porthminster. 

Tremearne shot at Carrack Gladden. 

October 7. — The boat Eagle, with eleven tons of 
potatoes, missed stays and went on shore on Porth- 
minster Point. Daniel Couch and John Broad got 
safely on shore, while Samuel Stoneman was drowned. 
Wind E.N.E., a strong gale. 

October 10. — Tremearne and Co. shot a sean at 
Pednolver. 

October 27. — Drift-boats, good catches of herrings, 
pilchards and mackerel. 

November 14. — A crowded meeting was held in the 
town, addressed by E. C. Whitchurch, Esq., of the 



306 PRISONERS OF* WAR IN FRANCE 

Ballot Association, London, and a petition to Parlia- 
ment in favour of the Ballot was unanimously adopted. 

November 23. — Sailed the Blanch for Saffi. 

November 27. — Large quantities of pilchards passed 
deep. Tremearne's shot a sean at Porthminster. 

November 30. — Bolitho's shot a sean at Cam Crowse 
and missed. On Friday last an inquest was held at 
Portreath on the body of a woman supposed to have 
been a passenger on board the steamer Nile, lost with 
all her passengers and crew on the Stones. 

December 5. — Hocking and Co. shot at the Poll and 
took up fifteen gurries of herring. One boat on the 
drift, 16,000 herrings ; sold at 3s. 6d. per hundred. 

December 12. — Part of the cargo of the steamer Nile 
picked up — one cask of oatmeal, some skins of lard, 
and parts of her decks. 

December 19. — A great many casks of butter, lard, 
tallow, pork, etc., picked up, being part of the cargo of 
the Nile. 

December 29. — Wind, N., a strong gale. About 
10 a.m. the schooner Swift, of Exeter, came on shore on 
the Ridge. Crew all saved. Soon after the schooner 
Concord, Captain Bartlett, ran on shore. The Captain 
was unfortunately drowned, but the others were saved 
after great exertion by the volunteer crews of two tow- 
boats and one gig. The Swift was from Newport, laden 
with iron, bound to Sheerness, and the Concord from 
Neath to Southampton, with coals. 

For this gallant service the men were afterwards 
awarded the sum of £152 18s. from local and other 
contributions. Richard Pa3*nter received a medal 
from Lloyds, having declined a pecuniary reward. 

December 31. — No pilchards have been taken and 
cured for exportation this season. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 307 

January 19, 1855. — The smack Maria, of Padstow, 
abandoned at sea, towed into St. Ives by two luggers. 

January 22. — The diver commenced working on the 
Swift and Concord, wrecked here on December 20. 

Jajtuary 29. — The diver has taken about twenty tons 
of iron from the Swift and all the sails and gear, and 
a watch from the Concord. 

January 30. — A great fall of snow. 

February 9. — Captain D. Hollow lost his vessel at 
Penzance. One man drowned. 

March 21. — Wind E.S.E., a strong gale. At 8 a.m. 
the schooner Thomas, of Limerick, from Cardiff, coal- 
laden, for Hayle, was driven on shore on the Break- 
water Point. By the exertions of one of the crew, a 
young man named Richard Williams, of St. Ives, a 
rope fastened to the jib-boom end was thrown to the 
men on shore, and the crew thus saved. Had it not 
been for young Williams, it is doubtful if the Captain 
could have been saved, he having a wooden leg. The 
vessel became a total wreck. 

About 7 p.m. the brig Vetos, Philip Perkin master, 
when coming into the Pier, let go his anchor to swing 
into the outer tier of vessels. The anchor came home, 
and the vessel was driven on shore under the church- 
yard. 

This day was appointed for a general thanksgiving 
throughout the kingdom for the success of our arms in 
the Crimea, and was kept in all its ordinances equal to 
the Sabbath Day. 

March 23. — This day was laid the foundation-stone 
of the wall of the new burial-ground. 

April 13. — Two boats landed 2,000 and 1,300 mackerel; 
sold at 2d. each. 

April 19. — Mr. Samuel Hocking, Mayor, died at 4 a.m. 



308 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

April 26. — Samuel Hocking, Esq., Mayor and 
magistrate, interred at 11 a.m. in the church vault. 

May 16. — Boats, from 300 to 2,000 mackerel ; sold to 
Plymouth skiffs at 20s. per hundred. 

July 9. — At a general meeting of sean-owners held 
in the Town Hall, it was resolved to pay 20s. for each 
sean registered if one-quarter part are put to sea; 10s. 
per sean if one-half; and 5s. per sean if the whole. 

August 12. — Arrived the Chimera, bound for Malta. 

August 14. — Drift-boats, 3,000 to 7,000 fine pilchards; 
sold at 3s. per hundred. 

August 17. — Sailed the Chimera, Short, for Malta. 

August 18. — A derelict barque towed into the Roads 
by H.M. brig Nautilus. 

August 28. — The derelict vessel towed into Hayle by 
the Express steamer. 

August 31. — On the 21st one-half of the seaners were 
put in pay. Total seans this year 251 — viz : 

Wearnes and Cornwall Company ... ... 100 

Bolitho, Hichens, and Bazeley... ... ... 88 

Tremearne and Union Company ... ... 63 

Only one-quarter part put to sea this year. This day 
Bolitho's shot at Porthminster and missed, Tremearne's 
shot at Carrack Gladden and took eighteen gurries 
pilchards. 

The wreck of the Swift was raised with the help of 
two vessels, and warped a short distance towards the 
Pier. This was done by the sean-owners, who 
purchased the wreck for ^50. On a second attempt 
the Szvi/t, after being under water for eight months, 
was brought into the Pier. 

September 27. — First attempt to launch the new 
schooner Jonadab. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 309 

September 28. — The Jonadab went off in fine style. 

October 6. — Jonadab schooner sailed for Swansea. 

October 11. — Two seans shot at Porthminster ; very 
small catches. 

October 30. — A fresh gale, N.N.E. The schooner 
Kate, of St. Ives, went on shore on Carrack Gladden 
Beach. Crew saved. 

November 8. — Drift-boats, good catches of herrings. 

December 28. — Came into port the Wilberforce from 
Spain, bound to London and Newcastle. 

December 31. — Only 412 hogsheads pilchards taken 
and exported from St. Ives this season. 

January 30, 1856. — Miss Frances Edwards died 
aged eighty-seven. 

March 11. — The ship Desdemona, of New Orleans, 
Captain Farnham, from Havre, bound to Cardiff, ran 
on the Stones and remained forty-five minutes ; a 
Mousehole pilot on board. 

March 20. — Sailed the American ship Desdemona, 
Captain Farnham, for Cardiff, assisted by a tug steamer 
which came here for that purpose. This vessel carries 
1,200 tons, and there being no place here to examine 
and repair damage, she has to proceed to Cardiff. 
It's nothing short of a miracle that she came off the 
Stones. 

March 22. — The French brigantine Ernest struck on 
the Stones, this being the fourth vessel within six 
weeks to strike on these dangerous rocks. It was on 
the Stones that the ill-fated steamer Nile was lost with 
all her crew and passengers. 

April 16. — Wind N.E., a fresh gale. Several vessels 
got much damaged running into this "port of destruc- 
tion." No other appelation is deserving. 

April 24. — Arrived the Chimera, bound to Havre. 



310 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

May i. — Drift-boats, ioo to 3,000 mackerel; sold at 
21s. per hundred. 

May 28. — This day is appointed for a day of general 
rejoicing on account of the peace between the allied 
armies and Russia. Nothing was done in St. Ives 
either by display of colours, music, or illuminations ; 
while our neighbouring towns have been actively 
engaged in expressing their joy upon an extensive 
scale, to the lasting disgrace of our town. 

June 29. — Sailed the Chimera for Malta. 

July 18. — Two boats on the drift took 5,000 and 
6,000 fine pilchards. 

July 25. — The virgins, ten in number, danced around 
the monument erected by John Knill. 

August 6. — A general meeting of the Gas Company ; 
dividend 5s. per share. 

August 11. — A general meeting of the Gas Company 
held in the Town Hall to take into consideration the 
lighting of the town again with gas. Agreed to light 
for 60s. per lamp, or 56s., provided the balance of 
the last rate be collected and paid over to the Gas 
Company. 

August 20. — Drift-boats, from 400 to 10,000 fine 
pilchards, with some small mackerel and herrings. 

September 5. — A Trinity steamer arrived and con- 
tinued the survey of the Stones, with a view to placing 
a light on this dangerous reef. 

September 29. — Much wreckage landed and handed 
over to the Customs, supposed from a French vessel 
lost on the Stones. 

Towed into port the schooner Friendship, of Ply- 
mouth, Hitchens master, from Par, bound to Liverpool 
with china clay, with foretop-mast and mainmast 
carried away. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 311 

October 1. — David Stevens, son of John Stevens, 
found drowned. 

October 13. — Picked up at sea a man floating on the 
water, supposed one of the crew of the French vessel 
noticed on the 29th ult. 

October 20. — A large shoal of fish passed through 
the stems. 

November 8. — Tremearne and Co. shot a scan at the 
Leigh, the first shot for the season. Proved to be 
about two gurries of gurnards. 

December 31. — Only 202 hogsheads pilchards taken 
this year by the drift-boats. No sean fish. 

January 1, 1857. — A great quantity of sprat taken; 
sold at 12s. 6d. per gurry. 

January 10. — A strong gale from the westward. 
The schooner Ann, of Plymouth, brought into the 
Roadstead by the pilots, with loss of main boom, 
gaff, mainsail, boat, companion, and both pumps 
choked. 

January 17. — Picked up and brought on shore 
the bowsprit of a vessel, supposed lost on the 
Stones. 

January 23. — Sailed the Ann, of Plymouth, for Hayle, 
with her perishing cargo of grain. 

February 3. — At 7 p.m. there was a general meeting 
of ship-owners, ship-masters, and others interested, 
held in the Town Hall to memorialize the Board of 
Trade as to the most suitable site for the erection of 
a lighthouse to guard the mariner from that most 
dangerous reef of rocks called the Stones at the entrance 
of St. Ives Bay. 

February 14. — Sailed the Blanch for Cardiff. 

February 18. — During the week the following have 
been interred : 



3i2 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

Betsey Yea ... ... ... aged 83 years 

Henry Rowe ... ... ... „ 66 

William Champion ... ... ... ,, 76 „ 

John Lander Ninnes ... ... „ 72 ,, 

United ages ... 297 

March 1. — This day there was interred in the new 
burial-ground Mr. Matthew Thomas, aged eighty-two 
years, he being the first person to be buried therein, 
and in the Dissenters' portion, the service being read 
by Mr. Wheeler, the teetotal minister. 

March 3. — At 4 p.m. there was buried in the Church 
portion of the new r ground Mrs. Joan Quick, aged 
ninety-two, widow of the late Mr. Thomas Quick. She 
was the oldest woman in this neighbourhood. 

March 19. — Henry Paull, Esq., canvassed the town ; 
a dissolution of Parliament expected to take place on 
the 25th inst. 

March 20. — Mr. Coulson, from London, addressed the 
electors, but refused to canvass. On Thursday a Mr. 
Robert Charles, from London, addressed the electors 
in the Town Hall. 

March 21. — Mr. Charles has given up the contest 
and quitted the town. 

March 24. — News arrived last evening that the 
brigantine Brothers, Robert Welch master, had been 
abandoned at sea in a sinking state. Crew 7 picked up 
by a Dutchman and landed at Falmouth. 

March 27. — At 11 a.m. Mr. Henry Paull, who con- 
tested the last election on Jul}- 9, 1852, against Mr. 
Laffan, was duly elected, there being no opposition. 

March 28. — On Tuesday night the schooner Sarah, 
of St. Ives, George Gyles master, was lost on 
Hartland Point. Crew saved in the boat, reaching 
Clovelly. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 313 

March 31. — A general meeting of the Cornwall Fish- 
ing Company was held at Penzance. 

Aprils. — Wesleyan Missionary Meeting, total collec- 
tions £6$ 4s. 8d. 

April 21. — Drift-boats, from 900 to 1,600 mackerel 
sold at 27s. to 29s. 6d. per hundred. The greater part 
of the boats sold at sea to the Bristol skiffs. 

May ii, — At a vestry meeting held in the Town 
Hall, the result of the polling was against any Church 
rate being made. 

May 13.— The Church portion of the new burial- 
ground was consecrated this day by the Bishop of 
Exeter. The Dissenters refused to have their portion 
consecrated, not agreeing with this rite. 

May 29. — Wind S.S.E., a strong gale. This evening 
there is the largest number of vessels anchored in the 
bay that I ever recollect at one time. 

May 30. — Still blowing a gale, S.S.E., with rain; 
vessels still coming into the bay for shelter. 

June 23. — On Tuesday night the steamer Naas from 
Bristol and Cardiff for Rotterdam, with a general cargo, 
ran on shore in Pendeen Cove. Crew and passengers 
safely landed ; vessel a total wreck. 

July 7. — At 2.30 p.m. the Imperial French screw 
steamer La Reine Hortense came to an anchor in the 
Roadstead to take on board Prince Napoleon, son of 
Jerome, who, with several gentlemen of distinction, 
had previously landed at Falmouth ; and after examin- 
ing several of the mines between Falmouth and St. 
Ives, arrived here with Alfred Fox, Esq., to re-embark. 
When the Prince arrived on the Quay and found that 
no boat had been sent for him, he immediately hired 
an old fishing-gig and went on board the steamer. As 
he left the Quay he received three hearty cheers from 



314 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

the assembled crowd, which he acknowledged by rais- 
ing his hat. At 7 p.m. the steamer proceeded for 
Dublin. 

July 10. — Several casks of palm oil picked up at sea 
and landed by the boats, supposed part of the cargo of 
the steamer Naas, wrecked at Pendeen. 

August 18. — The Hero, of Falmouth, from Plymouth 
for Hayle, with a cargo of limestone, went on shore in 
a fog near the Brissons last evening. 

August 22. — One boat on the drift for pilchards took 
9,000; sold at is. 6d. per hundred. 

August 24. — Sailed the Blanche for Neath, and the 
Antigua Planter for Swansea. 

August 25. — Boats on the drift, from 10,000 fine pil- 
chards, which found a ready sale at is. 6d. per hundred. 

August 31. — Several fine shoals of pilchards made 
their appearance in the bay. Three seans shot — 
Bolitho's took about 60 hogsheads, which sold for 18s. 
per gurry ; Cornwall and Wearne's Company took 
about 60 hogsheads ; and Tremearne 100 hogsheads. 

September 1. — Three seans shot at Cam Crowse, one 
at Pednolver, and one at the Leigh. 

September 2. — Cornwall Company took up 20 boat- 
loads, or 600 hogsheads. 

September 3. — Cornwall Company took up 600 hogs- 
heads more. Two seans shot and missed the fish. 

September 4. — Tremearne shot a sean at the Poll, 
Bolitho's one at Porthminster and one at Carrack Glad- 
den, Cornwall Company one at Carrack Gladden. 

From the seans in water about 300 hogsheads have 
been taken up to-day. 

September 5. — This evening three seans shot at Car- 
rack Gladden. 

Perkin's son, aged seven, drowned near the Quay. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 315 

September 7. — One sean shot at Porthminster. 

September 8. — All the seans taken up ; total quantity, 
4,300 hogsheads. 

October 6. — Bolitho's shot at Porthminster, and Tre- 
mearne's at Carrack Gladden ; quantity estimated at 
3,000 hogsheads. Owing to bad nets the greater part 
of the fish escaped during the night. 

October 10. — Cornwall Company shot a sean at Porth- 
minster, and Bolitho's took a large shoal at Pednolver. 
Drift-boats, from 200 to 1,000 mackerel. 

October 18. — About 3 a.m. the Captain and crew of 
the John Bennetts, three-mast schooner, left their vessel 
near the Stones, said to be in a sinking state. After 
daylight a Hayle pilot boarded the vessel, and, with 
the assistance of a St. Ives' gig and crew, took the 
vessel into Hayle. 

October 19. — The schooner Britannia, Thomas Leddra 
master, sailed from Neath on the 4th inst., and has 
not since been heard of; supposed foundered in the 
late gales, with her Captain and crew — viz., Thomas 
Berriman, John Williams, Thomas Stevens, and a boy 
belonging to Penzance, with Thomas Leddra master. 

This morning there came on shore on Porthminster 
Beach the catwater and part of the figure-head belong- 
ing to the brigantine Mary Welch, Welch master, sup- 
posed to have been lost on the Stones last night with 
all her crew. Wind N.N.E., a strong gale. 

October 20. — The wreck of the Mary Welch found in 
several parts of the coast. 

Sailed the schooner Fearnought, James master, for 
Genoa, with 520 hogsheads pilchards. 

October 21. — Sailed the Chimcera, Charles Short, with 
600 hogsheads for Naples ; and the Marcellas with 600 
hogsheads for Leghorn. 



316 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

November 22. — The Morton was stranded at Port- 
reath and became a total wreck. 

December 5. — Sailed the Mystery, Thomas T. Short, 
with 600 hogsheads pilchards. 

December 31. — Total quantity of pilchards exported 
from St. Ives to the Mediterranean this season, 7,665 
hogsheads. Fourteen vessels loaded here. Principal 
catches in September and October. Price 40s. to 
46s. 6d. per hogshead. 

January 11, 1858. — News arrived of the loss of the 
Albert, John Richards master, in Carnarvon Bay. 
Crew saved. 

Sailed the Francis Yates. 

January 27. — Went to Penzance to attend the Annual 
Meeting of the Cornwall Fishing Company. A divi- 
dend of ,£3 per share was declared. 

February 6. — Came to anchor in the Bay the steamer 
St. George, of Newcastle, from the coast of Africa and 
Fayal, with a cargo of oil and fruit, and having a ship- 
wrecked crew on board from Fayal. At 8 a.m. yester- 
day her boiler burst, killing the master and wounding 
the engineer so severely that he died soon after her 
arrival ; also a stoker badly scalded. 

February 7. — A small vessel supposed lost on the 
Stones, there being a quantity of floating wreckage 
coming ashore. A schooner reported lost in Bassett's 
Bay. 

February 10. — The engineer of the St. George buried 
in the new cemetery. 

The brigantine Alexanders, Captain Henry Care, 
sailed from Llanelly, and has not since been 
heard of. 

February n. — A steamer arrived to tow the St. George 
to London. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 317 

March 1. — James Thorrington, master of the Ono, 
who was drowned in Falmouth harbour on Thursday 
last, was buried to-day. 

March 3. — The schooner Mount's Bay sailed from 
Portreath on the 25th ult.; has put back here from 
Murt Bay, with loss of two anchors and cables. 

March 17.— Three boats out of six that shot for 
mackerel last night landed 1,000 fish ; sold at 40s. per 
hundred. 

March 20. — The light-vessel was towed into the 
Roadstead by a Trinity steamer, and from thence to 
her anchorage in the Sound of Godrevy. 

April 2. —Wind S.E., a stiff gale with rain; a large 
number of vessels came into port, and others brought 
up in the Bay. 

April 16. — On Wednesday night, 14th inst., the boat 
Edwin was run down by the Jennet, of Teignmouth. 
Crew got on board the vessel, and were landed at 
llfracombe next day. The men have lost boat, nets, 
clothes, and all the prospects of their long-waited-for 
season. 

April 21. — The boat Edwin was found floating on 
the water and towed to Padstow, with but little 
damage. 

April 30. — The barque Yorkshire, of Stockton, Reid 
master, came into the Roadstead after collision near 
the Land's End with the schooner Ruby, of Plymouth. 
The latter foundered. Crew, five in number, got on 
board the Yorkshire and were landed here. The 
barque has bowsprit, jib-boom, and part of her cut- 
water carried away, and makes a great deal of water. 
This evening the Captain decided to run to Hayle, 
but the pilots objected to this course, owing to the 
ship's draught of water. The Captain, however, per- 



318 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

sisted, and the vessel took the ground on the Bar, and 
is likely to become a total wreck. 

May 8. — Drift-boats, from 300 to 1,300 mackerel, sold 
at 10s. per hundred. 

May 13. — Boats, from 4,000 down; sold at 12s. per 
hundred. 

May 22. — Mount's Bay boats landed fish here. A 
great quantity of dog-fish in the mackerel-grounds. 

May 29. — Captain Edward Clark died to-day. 

June 17. — Arrived the Admiralty yacht with the 
Special Commission to examine the Bay for the pro- 
posed Harbour of Refuge. 

July 17. — One drift-boat, 4,000 pilchards. 

July 29.— A large iron buoy was placed on the Outer 
Stones as a leading mark for these dangerous rocks. 

August 10. — Boats, from 5,000 to 12,000 pilchards; 
sold at 2S. per hundred. 

August 16. — Seaners went into pay this day. 

September 4. — A great quantity of fish seen from the 
hills, too deep for the seans. 

September 9. — Bolitho's shot two seans, took thirty 
gurries pilchards out of both ; Wearnes shot and 
secured about 320 hogsheads ; drift-boats, from 4,000 
to 20,000; sold at is. 4d. per hundred. 

September 12. — At 8 p.m. fine and clear. The comet 
that first appeared on the 9th inst. made a splendid 
appearance. 

September 13. — The Trinity yacht arrived early this 
morning, supplied the lightship, and proceeded. 

September 21. — Boats on the drift, from 20,000 to 
30,000 pilchards; sold at is. 6d. per hundred. The 
sean shot last evening taken up ; it's said they shot 
on seaweed and dirty water. 

September 25. — Arrived the Banshee steamer, with 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 319 

the Royal Commissioners on Harbours of Refuge, 
Captain Veitch, R.E., W. S. Lindsey, M.P., Captain 
Washington, R.N., Captain Sullivan, R.N., Rear- 
Admiral Sir F. Smith, M.P., Admiral Hope, and 
Mr. John Coode, C.E. 

September 27. — The Royal Commissioners sat in the 
Town Hall, when several of the townspeople were 
examined. The Commissioners afterwards left in the 
Banshee for Padstow. The meeting was very satis- 
factory, and the Commissioners considered the former 
reports on St. Ives' Bay to be fully confirmed, and that 
this is the most suitable place for a Harbour of Refuge 
for the North Coast of Cornwall. 

October 3. — The comet continues to have a most 
brilliant appearance. I think it is larger than the 
comet of 181 1.* 

October 7. — Two seans shot at Porthminster ; Tre- 
mearne's took up 160 gurries, and Bolitho's 130 gurries. 

October 9. — Nine seans shot at different stems ; 
several shoals lost by bad management. 

October 15. — The Trinity steamer arrived and landed 
several large buoys. 

October 19. — A dandy lost under Zennor Cliffs. She 
proved to be the Wheatsheaf, of London, with coals 
from Wales for London. The Captain, two sailors, 
and the Captain's wife and child, landed from their 
boat in Penrice Cove. 

October 22. — Five seans shot, three at Porthminster 
and two at Carrack Gladden. 

November 2. — Arrived the Mystery and the Glynn, 
belonging to Captain Hain, both from Liverpool with 
salt, to load fish for the Mediterranean. 

* Mr. Short saw the comet of 1811 from the windows of the 
prison at Givet. 



32o PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

November 3. — St. John's Church, Hellesvere, opened 
for Divine Service at 1 1 a.m. 

November 9. — Mr. John Tremearne elected Mayor. 

November 14. — Wind E. by S. All the ships that 
were anchored in the Bay have proceeded to the 
westward. 

November 20. — Sailed the schooner Mystery, T. T. 
Short master, for Malta, with 582 hogsheads pilchards. 

November 23. — Sailed the Lizzie Morton, with 500 
hogsheads pilchards for the Mediterranean. 

December 6. — Sailed the Glynn, Edward Hain master, 
with 600 hogsheads pilchards for the Mediterranean ; 
also the Maria, with 465 hogsheads ; and the Topsy, 
with 620 hogsheads. 

December 7. — Sailed the Hope, with 391 hogsheads. 

December 14. — Sailed the Morton, with 640 hogsheads. 

December 16. — The Lander gig capsized on Hayle 
Bar, crew having a very narrow escape, but were all 
picked up by the gig Matchless and her crew. 

December 31. — Sailed the Palas and Chimcera, with 
pilchards for the Mediterranean. 

Total quantity of pilchards exported this season, 
13,329 hogsheads; price to curers averaged not less 
than 45s. per hogshead. Twenty-five vessels loaded 
here for various Mediterranean ports. 

January 29, 1859. — It being disputed by a great 
number of the inhabitants concerning the date of 
Feast Sunday, I say that I always understood St. 
Ives' Feast to be the nearest Sunday to February 2, 
that is, to Candlemas Day, and that of Lelant the 
nearest Sunday to February 3, and I believe I have so 
seen it in ancient records. 

January 31. — The teetotalers are going to keep this 
day as Feast Monday, and the Wesle3*ans are going 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 321 

to keep next Monday as the Feast, so how this con- 
troversy is to be settled I don't know, neither do 
I care ; but still, I believe St. Ives' Feast to be the 
nearest Sunday to Candlemas Day. 

February 2. — Wind N.W. a strong gale. A large 
ship, under press of lower canvas, seen going to the 
westward firing signal guns. 

A very strong debate at the Teetotal Chapel with 
the Rev. Mr. Cleyo. 

March 1. — The light on Godrevy Island exhibited 
to-night for the first time. The first paragraph put 
into the Shipping Gazette after the Nile steamer was 
lost on the Stones with all her crew and passengers, 
setting forth the great necessity there was for a light 
to be fixed on some convenient spot for the guidance 
of mariners passing this dangerous reef of rocks, was 
sent by Richard Short, master of the schooner Blanch. 

March 10. — Went to Penzance to attend the meeting 
of the Cornwall Fishing Concern ; shared £6 per 
share. 

March n. — News arrived that the Royal Commis- 
sioners had recommended Government to grant the 
sum of £400,000 for the construction of a Harbour of 
Refuge at this port. 

March 12. — Sailed the schooner Mystery for Dublin. 

March 14. — The Trinity steamer towed the light- 
ship, which has been doing duty during the erection 
of the lighthouse on Godrevy, from the Roadstead 
this morning, but returned this evening, owing to a 
strong N.W. gale at the Land's End. 

March 23. — The mackerel-boats went to sea for the 
first time. 

March 24.- Boats, from 300 to 1,000 mackerel ; sold at 
1 6s. per hundred. 



322 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

April 3. — Wesleyan Missionary Anniversary Ser- 
mons preached 03- the Rev. Marmaduke Osborn. 

April 6. — Boats, from 200 to 1,800 mackerel ; sold at 
22s. per hundred. 

April 18. — Henry Paull, Esq., canvassed the town as 
a candidate for Parliament, the General Election being- 
expected to take place soon. 

April 25. — Mr. Paull and Mr. C. F. Geseler actively 
canvassing town and country. 

April 26. — The writ arrived to-night. The dissolution 
of Parliament took place on Saturday ; nomination fixed 
for next Friday ; polling on Saturday. 

April 27. — A heavy gale, E.S.E. Two Norwegian 
brigs drifted from their moorings in the Bay. The 
Constance Margareth came on the back of the Quay, but 
was by the force of the sea beaten into the Pier. The 
Juno came on shore in Wheal Dream, and is a total 
loss. Both ships were timber-laden for Hayle. 

April 30. — The polling took place in the Town Hall. 

Henry Paull, Esq. ... ... ... 257 

Mr. Geseler ... ... ... ... 130 

Majority ... 127 

Mr. Lennard made his speech after the election, 
which was very mean. He is a youth more fit for a 
debating club than for Parliament. 

May 28. — Drift-boats, fair catches of mackerel during 
the month. To-day about 40,000 landed, price 12s. to 
15s. per hundred. 

July 12. — The first boat that tried for pilchards 
caught 1,200; sold at 2s. lod. per hundred. 

August 5.— Joshua Smith, when bathing at 
Porthmeor, was taken off his legs by the ground 
sea and drowned. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 323 

August 11. — Boats, from 3,000 to 10,000 pilchards. 

August 20. — Ten seans shot to-day at the various 
stems. 

August 29. — Wearne and Co. shot a sean at Carrack 
Gladden, but missed. 

September 10. — The first pilchards sold at 52s. 6d. per 
hogshead. 

September 24. — The polling, for or against lighting 
the town with gas ended to-day, and there was a 
majority in favour of lighting ; but it appears that the 
ten days' legal notice of the commencement of the poll 
was not given, so that it must be done all over again. 
But I should say, " Give yourselves no further trouble 
about polling, for the Gas Company will say, 'We will 
not light the town with gas for this year ' ; so what is 
the use of your contending." 

October 5. — Sailed the schooner Mystery, Thomas 
T. Short master, with 500 hogsheads pilchards for 
Civita Vecchia. 

October 1 1. — Captain William Couch died, aged eighty. 

October 14. — Meeting" of the Gas Company to pay a 
dividend of 6s. per share. 

Great Gale and Loss or Life 

October 31. — On Tuesday, the 25th inst., we were 
visited by one of the hardest gales of wind and the 
heaviest sea felt here since the great October gale of 
1823. 

At daylight on the Tuesday in question the weather 
was fine, and the wind light from the southward. 

At eight o'clock it was S.S.E., fresh. At noon it was 
blowing a gale with rain at E., and at four o'clock 
N.N.E., a complete storm, which at 8 p.m. shifted 
to N.N.W., and increased to a hurricane. 



324 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

It was known that several vessels belonging to 
St. Ives and Hayle were at Cardiff ready for sea, and 
great fears were entertained for their safety. 

At daylight on Wednesday a wreck was observed 
on Hayle Bar; this was the barque Severn, of about 
500 tons, of Sunderland, from Cardiff for France with 
coals. Ten of the crew were drowned ; one man was 
saved. The sloop, Martha Jane, of and for Plymouth, 
from Llanelly with coals, went on shore on Pednolver 
Point, near the Pier, and in the afternoon tide went to 
pieces. The crew were saved. 

Several vessels came into the Bay with loss of sails, 
spars, etc. 

About 4 p.m. it was known that the schooner 
Sir Robert Peel, of this port, Captain John Richards, 
was on shore about two miles westward of Portreath. 
The crew, five in number, were unfortunately drowned. 

The Sultana Selina, also of this port, was lost with all 
her crew, seven in number, on the Dunbar at Padstow. 

The John Wesley, Captain Bryant, has not been 
heard of; it is feared she has foundered with her crew. 
The Pearl, of Hayle, wrecked at St. Agnes. Crew 
saved. The Thistle, of Hayle, wrecked in Morte Bay. 
Crew saved. 

Of the six vessels which left Cardiff on the Tuesday 
morning, bound and belonging to this port, only the 
Liberty, Captain Andrews, reached here ; the other live 
are lost. The bodies of Captain Richards, of his son, 
of the mate, and one seaman of the Sir Robert Peel 
have been found ; the three former were interred here 
on Sunday. 

Our town is filled with lamentation and woe, and 
the interment on Sunday was a distressing and 
mournful sight. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 325 

Out of the eleven Cornishmen on board the Royal 
Charter, wrecked on the coast of Anglesea, with a loss 
of 454 lives, two belonged to this town. Samuel 
Grenfell is saved, Thomas Wallis is drowned, leaving 
a wife and four children. 

John Taylor, who escaped from the wreck of the 
Severn by clinging to a plank, is a native of Appledore. 
It is reported that the new Godrevy light was mistaken 
for the Longships. It is feared that two vessels have 
struck on the Stones. All hands perished. 

November 2. — Early on the morning of the 1st inst. 
we were visited by a terrific gale from N.N.W., with 
thunder and lightning, and a tremendous sea and surl 
in the Pier. 

Several vessels broke adrift and hove against the 
wharf, where they are now beneaped. The only 
damage was to the Johnson, of Exeter, topmast carried 
away ; and the Sylph, of St. Ives, bulwarks stove. 

December 13. — When excavating the earth in the 
garrison on the island for a new magazine three 
human skeletons were discovered. There is no record 
of anyone being buried on this spot. 

December 17. — A very heavy fall of snow, such as has 
not been witnessed for many years past. 

December 19. — The fall of snow continues. 

December 31. — Only 609 hogsheads pilchards ex- 
ported from St. Ives this season ; the total for the 
whole of the county being but 3,289 hogsheads; price 
52s. 6d. to 73s. 6d. per hogshead. 

January 13, i860. — At 10.45 P- m - there was felt a 
slight shock of earthquake, which continued about 
fifteen seconds. Some houses felt the shock more than 
others. It appeared to come from the S.W. quarter, 
taking an opposite direction. Ships at anchor in the 



326 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

Roadstead felt its effect, and one vessel off St. Agnes 
also felt the shock. 

February 6. — Captain John Hodge, sen., died when 
in the act of prayer in the Wesleyan Chapel, aged 
sixty-one years. 

February 23. — Mrs. Jane Thomas, mother of Captain 
Hannibal Thomas, died to-day, aged eighty-five 
years. 

February 29. — Interred during this week : Mrs. Jane 
Thomas, aged eighty-five; Mrs. Jane Resuggan, eighty- 
five; Mr. William Berriman, eighty; and Mrs. Mary 
Smith, sixty-three. 

March 2. — Mrs. Mary Morton buried to-day, aged 
seventy-seven. 

March 14. — A strong gale, N.N.W. The Blanch 
drove on shore in Porthminster. 

March 27. — One mackerel-boat, 600 fish ; sold at 
30s. per hundred. 

April 2. — General meeting of the Gas Company ; 
paid dividend 4s. per share. 

April 20. — The schooner Mystery, of St. Ives, 
belonging to Captain Edward Hain, Samuel Wallis 
master, from Swansea for Smyrna, missed stays and 
went on shore in Porthgwidden Cove and became a 
total wreck. 

April 23. — The smack Alexander, of Dublin, from 
Penzance in ballast for Dublin, run on shore and 
became a total wreck. Crew saved. 

April 29. — An East-country fishing-boat came into 
the Roadstead with about 1,000 mackerel, caught on 
Saturday night, which were purchased by two strange 
buyers. A gig's crew of St. Ives' fishermen refused to 
allow the fish to be landed, and after some altercation 
threw the fish into the sea, which outrageous action 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 327 

will doubtless give employment to the gentlemen of 
the long robe. 

June 24. — I do not remember such a boisterous, 
rainy, cold, and gloomy summer as the present. I 
cannot say that we have had one cloudless day since 
the commencement of the year. 

July 3. — Several boats sailed for Ireland for the 
herring fishery. 

July 10. — A general meeting of the inhabitants held 
in the Town Hall to take into consideration the 
formation of a Volunteer Corps for this Borough. 

July 11. — One boat, 2,000 pilchards and 1,500 herring ; 
the latter sold for 7s. per hundred. 

August 6. — Seaners put in pay. 

August 7. — The Volunteer Corps meet at Trevethoe 
Park. 

August 30. — The three guns placed in position in the 
battery on the Island. 

September 6. — Several shoals of fish seen in the Bay. 

September 12. — The St. Ives Artillery Volunteer 
Corps sworn in this day, and were visited by the Corps 
from Hayle and Redruth. 

September 18. — Three seans shot to-day, but all 
missed. 

October 1. — A general meeting of the Gas Company. 

October 15. — Several seans shot to-day and caught 
fish. One boat, 15,000 drift pilchards, and another 
1,000 mackerel. The seans were moored so far in that 
a great quantity offish died on the low water. 

October 18. — The quantity of pilchards taken out of 
the seans shot on Monday amounts to 2,500 hogs- 
heads. Mackerel-boats, from 2,000 down ; price 30s. 
per hundred. 

October 23. — News arrived of the loss of the Francis 



328 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

Yates, James Sincock master, on her voyage from 
Archangel to Bristol. All the crew drowned. 

October 24. — Sailed the Blanch for Neath. 

October 25. — Pilchards sold at from 60s. to 65s. per 
hogshead. 

November 16. — Boats, from 2,000 herrings, sold at 
5s. per hundred. 

November 27. — Sailed the Bohemian Girl. 

December 15. — John H. Bryant drowned at Portreath, 
son of Captain Henry Bryant. 

December 31. — Total quantity of pilchards exported 
to the Mediterranean this season 2,550 hogsheads. 
The only enclosure was made in October. Five vessels 
loaded here. 

January 17, 1861. — Sailed from the Roadstead the 
Island Queen, Bolitho, for Cardiff. 

January 21. — A large number of handspikes picked 
up by the boats. 

February 5. — Yesterday the Volunteer Artillery Corps 
assembled on parade, and on Sunday went to church 
for the first time. 

February 22. — A large catch of mullet sold at 35s. per 
gurry. 

March 12. — The Census Returns give the population 
of the parish of St. Ives as 6,935, being an increase of 
428 over 185 1.* It is estimated that there are at present 
over 200 St. Ives' men absent at sea. Penzance has 
increased only twenty in ten years. 

During one week in January last the following 
deaths took place : Mrs. Margaret Paynter, aged 
eighty; Mrs. Elizabeth Clark, eighty -five; Mrs. 
Chellew, seventy ; Mrs. Mary Sanders, eighty-nine ; 

* St. Ives census returns: 1801, 2,715 ; 1811, 3,281 ; 1821, 3,526 ; 
1831,4,776; 1851,6,507; 1861,6,935. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 329 

Mr. Joseph Lander, seventy-eight; Mr. William Cogar, 
eighty-five. Total, 487, or an average of over 81 
years. 

March 14. — Mackerel-boats went to sea for the first 
time for the season. 

March 23. — One boat only took 100 mackerel ; sold 
for 50s. 

March 28. — Boats, from 1,400 down ; sold at from 30s. 
to 35s. per hundred. 

April 24. — All the boats at sea — not less than 115, 
including Mount's Bay and East Country boats. 

Died this day Hugh Edwards, Esq., aged eighty-five. 

May 5- — East Country boats brought in about 
15,000 mackerel; sold at 21s. per hundred. 

June 25. — Boats sailed for the Irish herring fishery. 

June 30. — A comet appeared this evening. 

July 3. — One boat, 3,000 pilchards. 

July 6. — Henry Freeman, seaman on board the 
brigantine Eliza of this port, fell from the foremast 
head and was killed. 

July 25. — Mr. Knill's will was carried out to-day, 
when the Mayor, Parson, and others of the Corpora- 
tion, assembled at the Town Hall, and again in the 
evening at the Hotel, to partake of the dinner pro- 
vided. 

August 5. — Several playing shoals of fish seen, 
supposed to be pilchards. 

August 12. — Seaners put into pay this day. 

September 26. — Several seans shot to-day. Bolitho's 
took 1,500 hogsheads, and Hichens and Co. 1,700 hogs- 
heads. 

October 26. — Bolitho's shot a sean at Porthminster. 

October 27. — Bolitho's shot and missed. Tremearne's 
shot and took one boat-load pilchards. 



330 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

November 3. — Thirteen seans shot this morning 
about nine o'clock — viz., five at Porthminster, two 
at Pednolver, three at Carrack Gladden, two at the 
Poll, and one at the Leigh. 

November 30. — A sean shot on six and a half boat- 
loads of herring; sold at 2s. 6d. per hundred. 

December 16. — A ship's water-cask and other wreckage 
washed on shore at Porthmeor. 

December 31. — The total quantity of pilchards ex- 
ported to the Mediterranean from St. Ives this season 
is 9,384 hogsheads; average price 70s. per hogshead, 
making a total of ,£32,844 from the sean and drift 
pilchard fisheries. Principal catches in September and 
November. Eighteen vessels loaded here for various 
Mediterranean ports. The total quantity exported 
from St. Ives for the past ten years has been 
48,281 hogsheads. 

January 6, 1862. — Sailed the Bohemian Girl for the 
Mediterranean with pilchards. 

February 21. — There are now laying in the Roadstead 
six steamers, all wind-bound, a sight never before 
witnessed here. 

March 19. — Boats, small catches of mackerel ; sold at 
42s. per hundred. 

March 27. — Mackerel sold to-day at 46s. and 47s. per 
hundred. 

April 16. — Fifteen boats landed about 5,000 mackerel; 
sold at 47s. per hundred. 

April 24. — The few boats that were out landed only 
600 mackerel, sold at 70s. per hundred. 

April 28. — East Country boats landed Saturday 
night's fish ; price 23s. per hundred. 

May 3. — A strong gale, S.E. by E. The smack Sally 
wrecked at Porthgwidden. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 331 

May 5. — Died yesterday Mr. Thomas Williams, 
parish clerk, aged seventy-five.* 

May 13. — Some wreckage picked up belonging to 
a large vessel called the City of Melbourne. Boats 
landed 60,000 mackerel ; sold at from 23s. to 25s. per 
hundred. 

June 1 7. — Boats, small catches ; price 26s. per hundred. 
Several boats have left for the Irish herring fishery. 

July 19.— One drift-boat landed 2,000 pilchards. 

August 8. — Several boats arrived from Ireland. 

August 15. — The Ono came back into port, one of 
her crew, Francis Penberthy, being seriously injured 
by falling from aloft. 

August 19. — Volunteer sports on the island. 

September 1. — Commenced to open the streets to lay 
new gas-pipes. 

September 10. — Several shoals of pilchards seen in 
the stems. 

September 18. — Three seans shot — Bolitho's at the 
Poll, Hichens and Co. and Tremeane's at Pednolver. 

September 19. — Boats on the drift, from 1,000 pil- 
chards. 

October 1. — Two seans shot at Carrack Gladden, each 
enclosing large shoals. 

October 8. — Cornwall Company caught about 800 
hogsheads at Carrack Gladden. 

October 15. — Several boys were brought to the Town 
Hall for stealing pilchards. 

December 31. — Total quantity of pilchards exported 
to the Mediterranean this season, 8,324 hogsheads ; 
price, 50s. to 63s. per hogshead. Fifteen vessels loaded 
here. 

* Mr. Short's cousin and fellow prisoner of war in France, 1804- 
1814. 



332 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

February 7, 1863. — The Williams came into collision 
with the Mystery, Captain T. B. Thomas, and foundered. 



Marriage of the Prince of Wales 

March 2, 1863. — A meeting of the inhabitants held 
in the Town Hall to take steps for celebrating the 
marriage of the Prince of Wales. 

March 10. — H.R.H. The Prince of Wales married 
this day to the Princess Alexandra of Denmark. The 
day has been observed as a general holiday with great 
rejoicing. Bands of music paraded the town, which is 
gaily decorated, and at night a general illumination 
took place. The old men of the town, sixty years of 
age and upwards, were provided with a good dinner, 
and the old women with tea and cake, out of the funds 
contributed for the occasion. Our Member of Parlia- 
ment, Henry Paull, Esq., gave ,£20; H. L. Stevens, 
Esq., of Tregenna, ,£10; and the rest by the inhabitants 
of the town. 

March 18. — The brigantine Freeman, of St. Ives, 
Captain William Veal, jun., lost at sea with all hands. 

April 1. — Boats, from 1,000 mackerel down; sold at 
37s. per hundred. 

April 10. — Small catches large mackerel ; sold at 
40s. per hundred. 

May 22. — One boat only at sea took too mackerel; 
sold at 42s. 

May 27. — Some very fine pilchards landed, a remark- 
able occurrence at this time of the year ; sold at id. each. 

May 30. — There were taken by the blind haul nets 
last night near 500 small plaice, flukes, soles, tomlins, 
turbot, etc. ; the whole sold by auction for 4s. 2d. If 
you murder the fry, you cannot expect to catch the 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 333 

full-grown fish. Fishermen, take note of this act of 
destruction ! 

June 6. — Sailed the Bohemian Girl. 

June 12. — A strong gale; N. by E. The schooner 
Emma parted her chain and drove on shore near 
Pednolver Point, and the Azores Packet stranded on 
the Ridge ; crew taken off by the lifeboat. The 
Superior grounded between the Pier Head and 
Pednolver, with loss of fore-topmast. 

June 13. — The Emma was brought into the Pier with 
the assistance of the Club warp. 

June 17. — The Azores Packet brought into the Pier. 
She was purchased for £4 5. 

July 2. — A meeting of the Gas Company held in the 
Town Hall to consider tenders for the purchase of the 
Gasworks. 

July 29. — We have had very hot, seasonable weather 
of late, which, if continued, will insure a good and 
early harvest. Everything indicates a good supply of 
potatoes, which have been a failure for many years. 

August 12. — Very fine weather; the reapers are in 
full labour, and there is every prospect of an abundant 
harvest. The potato crop is very prolific ; the like has 
not been witnessed for many years. 

August 17. — Seaners went into pay this day. 

September 1. — Tremearne's shot a sean at the Poll. 

September 17. — Eight seans shot to-day, but five only 
caught fish. 

September 19. — Samuel Major's stable at Ayr burnt 
down, and four horses burnt to death. 

September 27. — On Saturday evening a waggon loaded 
with battens came by accident against the White Hart 
Hotel. The waggon separated from the shafts and 
horses, and, getting stern way, ran over the Wharf, 



334 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

carrying a boat in which Anthony Woolcock was 
seated with it, and smashing poor Woolcock to 
death. 

September 30. — The Gasworks sold to Mr. George 
Bower. 

October 7. — Bolitho's shot at Porthminster and caught 
a fine shoal offish. 

October 8. — Bolitho's tucked twenty boat-load, over 
600 hogsheads. 

October 17. — Three seans shot: Bolitho's at Porth- 
minster took 1,000 hogsheads, Union Company at 
Carrack Gladden 350 hogsheads, and Independent 
Company at the Poll 2,000 hogsheads. 

October 19. — Tremearne's shot on dirty water. 

October 23. — A great quantity of pilchards brought 
down from Newquay, caught in the seans at that place 
this day week. 

November 2. — Wind N., a strong gale. The 
seaners were obliged to abandon two sean-boats, 
leaving them at anchor in the Poll, while one sean- 
boat and a tow-boat were beached at Carrack Gladden. 

November 10. — The schooner Queen of the Sea came 
into port with bowsprit carried away, having been in 
collision near the Land's End with the smack Eclipse. 
One man of the smack's company on board the 
schooner. Hopes are entertained that the smack has 
gone for Padstow. 

November 11. — A tremendous gale from N.W. Much 
damage done to houses, and considerable danger in 
passing through the streets from falling slates and 
chimneys. A steamer and the brig Benjamin, of Bristol, 
with topsail carried away, anchored in the Roads and 
are riding out the gale. The brig London, of Plymouth, 
wrecked near Zennor ; several men drowned ; a French 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 335 

vessel at Gurnard's Head, only one man saved ; and a 
Norwegian brig wrecked to the eastward of Hayle Bar. 

December 2. — A schooner was driven on shore near 
Hocking's Cove; three men saved. The Captain and 
two men were washed overboard previous to the ship's 
running on shore. 

December 4. — A French vessel from Swansea, laden 
with coals from Swansea for France, ran on shore on 
the Western Spits. Crew saved. 

December 31. — 7,030 hogsheads pilchards exported 
this season ; principal catches in September and 
October; price 40s. to 55s. per hogshead. 

February 11, 1864. — Cornwall Fishing Company's 
meeting at Penzance. 

March 1. — Boats shot for mackerel for first time, 
very small catches ; price 47s. per hundred. 

April 4. — Mr. William Bazely died to-day, deeply 
lamented. 

April 14. — Mr. William Hichens died to-day after a 
short illness. 

May 8. — The drift-boats have been landing large 
catches of mackerel. One boat to-day brought to land 
10,000; price offered 5s. per hundred, which was 
refused, and the boat proceeded to Swansea. 

May 12. — One boat landed 1,500 pilchards; sold at 
is. 6d. per hundred. 

May 13. — This day all the voters left by hired con- 
veyance for Penzance to vote for a new Coroner in the 
place of the late Mr. William Hichens. 

June 29. — A great many boats sailed for Ireland. 

August 8. — A meeting of the Quay Trustees to 
arrange about the great demonstration which is to 
take place on the 30th inst, on the occasion of the 
laying of the foundation-stone of the new pier. 



336 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

August 17. — A shoal of pilchards passed out this 
morning. Yesterday one sean was shot at Perran and 
another at Gurnard's Head. 

August 30. — This day was laid the foundation-stone 
of the new pier. At 8 a.m. the town was decorated 
with evergreen arches and flags. After the ceremony of 
laying the stone was completed, the regatta took place, 
with spirited races between six-oared gigs, sean-boats, 
tow-boats, etc. Never was there such a concourse of 
people assembled in the town as on this occasion. 
At 5 p.m. a dinner took place on the Malakoff, at- 
tended by a large number of the principal inhabitants, 
when many speeches were delivered. At evening there 
were some good bonfires and illuminations."* 

September 9. — Three seans shot to-day; took small 
quantities of pilchards. 

September 12. — Three seans shot to-day; all caught 
fish. 

September 13. — Bolitho's shot at Pednolver and 
missed. Drift-boats, from 30,000 down; sold at is. 9d. 
per hundred. 

September 14. — Independent Company shot at Carrack 
Gladden. Drift-boats, from 20,000 pilchards ; sold at 
is. 9d. per hundred. 

September 15. — Two seans shot at Porthminster. 

September 17. — Drift-boats, large catches pilchards. 

October 19. — Three drift-boats landed each 500 
mackerel ; sold at 27s. per hundred. 

October 24. — Cornwall Company shot at Porth- 
minster, Independent Company, Hichensand Bolitho's, 
at Pednolver, and Independent Company at the Poll. 

* The new pier, thus commenced with great rejoicing, is the wood 
pier, which is now a wreck, and which soon proved to be an engineer- 
ing and financial failure. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 337 

October 25. — One sean shot at Pednolver, two at 
Carn Crowse ; both missed. Drift-boats, from 20,000 
pilchards. 

October 26. — Two seans shot to-day. 

November 9. — Drift-boats, from 2,000 mackerel down 
to 500; price 22s. per hundred. 

November 23. — Drift-boats, large catches of mackerel ; 
one boat had 10,000 ; price 10s. per hundred. Large 
catches of pilchards, herrings, and scads have also been 
landed. 

December 2. — Boats, from 4,500 mackerel down ; price 
16s. per hundred. 

December 6. — Sailed the Eliza Bain on her first voyage, 
with 850 hogsheads pilchards for the Mediterranean. 

December 8. — Sailed the schooner Glynn, with 
pilchards for the Mediterranean. 

December 9. — Boats, from 9,000 mackerel down ; sold 
at 12s. per hundred. 

December 12. — The Bohemian Girl floated this 
afternoon. 

December 20. — The drift-boats during the past week 
have landed large catches mackerel, sold at good prices ; 
to-day from 400 down only, price 34s. per hundred. 

December 31. — The total quantity of cured pilchards 
exported from St. Ives to the Mediterranean this 
season is 11,726 hogsheads, price 46s. to 57s. per 
hogshead ; average price in St. Ives, about 48s., or a 
value of, say, £28,000. 

The total quantity exported from this port, from 
1852 to 1864 inclusive, has been 105,516 hogsheads, 
and, giving an average price of 40s. per hogshead only, 
this makes a value in the thirteen years of £211,032, 
which shows the importance and value of the pilchard 
fishery to St. Ives. 



338 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

The Prisoners of War 

January 8, 1865. — This morning, fifty-one years ago, 
I, with 150 others, left the depot prison of Givet, in 
France, where I had been confined as a prisoner of 
war for nine years and nine months. 

January 13. — At five p.m. the cutter Henrietta, of 
St. Ives, left the Pier for Hayle, and grounded on the 
Bar, capsized, and all on board, five in number, were 
drowned. 

A vessel reported lost on the Brissons with all her 
crew ; cargo, hides and horns. We since hear that the 
crew were picked off and carried to Bristol. 

January 14. — A very heavy gale, W r .N.W. ; much 
damage done to houses in the town. 

January 27. — The Emma, of St. Ives, driven on 
shore in Porthminster during a heavy N.N.E. gale. 
Crew saved ; ship a total wreck. 

January 30. — At high water the sea beat with such 
fury that the like has not been seen for many years. 
The cellar doors on the beach are beaten in by the 
surf, and much damage has been done to vessels and 
boats in the Pier. 

February 10. — Annual Meeting of the Cornwall 
Fishing Company, dividend of 50s. per share. 

March 17. — Drift-boats' first trial for mackerel; one 
boat, 100 fish, realized 38s. 

March 29. — Drift-boats gone round to fish in Mount's 
Bay ; boats there catching great quantities of fish. 

March 31. — One boat landed 2,500 mackerel; sold at 
12s. per hundred. 
May 15. — Went to Redruth. 

June 9. — Edward Vivian, Esq., addressed the electors 
on the Wharf. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 339 

June 10. — Mr. Vivian began to canvass the town. 

June n. — A fresh gale, N.N.E. A vessel laden with 
corn, bound to Hayle, came into the Roadstead, and the 
Captain (I suppose drunk or mad) refused to take a 
pilot, and, instead of taking the Bar, ran his ship on 
shore on the Western Spits. 

June 13. — John Baragwanath and B. Gribble, when 
working on the new pier works, were crushed by a 
large piece of rock falling upon them. Baragwanath's 
foot was cut clean from his leg, and Gribble much 
bruised and cut in several places. 

June i^. — The Borough being canvassed for Mr. Paull. 

Several boats sailed for Ireland. 

June 19. — A great many boats sailed for Ireland. 

The Election 

July 11, 1865. — The nomination took place in the 
Town Hall, when several eloquent speeches were 
delivered by the candidates and their supporters. A 
great concourse of people assembled from St. Ives, 
Lelant, and Towednack. 

July 12. — The election commenced at eight a.m. in 
the Town Hall, and at the close of the poll Mr. Henry 
Paull was again declared to be our Member. 

Paull ... ... ... ... 233 

Vivian ... ... ... ... 177 

Majority for Paull ... 56 

Mr. Edward Vivian, of Torquay, is a gentleman of 
great eloquence, and well suited to represent this 
constituency in Parliament ; but he has been defeated 
by the voters from Lelant and Towednack, brought in 
by the land and mine agents. All St. Ives and all the 



34© PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

non-voters are for Vivian. Mr. Paull had great 
difficulty to find a safe retreat from the Town Hall, and 
was in great fear for himself. It is thought that he 
will never visit St. Ives again. 

July 28. — A large number of boats arrived from 
Ireland. 

August 2. — A great tea-party to the voters' wives and 
their friends given by Mr. Vivian. 

August 3. — Mr. Edward Vivian gave a dinner to all 
the voters. 

August 21. — Seaners put into pay, and all the boats 
stemmed. 

September 25. — We have not had a good shower of 
rain since August 6. 

October 9. — Sailed the Blanch. 

A man died on board a schooner laying in the 
Roadstead. 

October 13. — Two drift -boats took 700 and 800 
mackerel ; sold at 27s. per hundred. 

October 23. — Three seans shot this evening. 

October 25. — Drift-boats, from 30,000 pilchards ; sold 
at 2S. per hundred. 

October 28. — A French brig wrecked on Hayle Bar 
and became a total loss. Two men drowned, the others 
rescued by the St. Ives' lifeboat, after most gallant exer- 
tions. The brig was coal-laden, bound to Dieppe. 

October 31. — Drift-boats, from 20,000 pilchards down. 

November 7. — Drift-boats, from 900 mackerel down ; 
sold at 26s. to 30s. per hundred. 

November 11. — Three seans shot to-day. 

November 22. — Wind W., a strong gale. News 
arrived of the wreck of the Apollo^ Captain Bryant ; 
and the Mischief, Captain Stevens, with other vessels 
at Plymouth. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 341 

November 27. — Towed into the Harbour by three 
large boats a Danish schooner, dismasted, with loss of 
boats and decks swept. 

November 28. — Five steamers at anchor in the Bay. 

November 30. — Sailed the Blanch for Llanelly. 

December 31. — The total quantity of pilchards exported 
from St. Ives this season to the Mediterranean is 5,400 
hogsheads. 

January 2, 1866. — The schooner Onward got on shore 
on Hayle Bar. 

January 11. — Wind N.N.E., a tremendous gale. The 
Bessie, of Hayle, Richard Gyles master, was run on 
shore at 8.30 a.m. on the Western Spits. Crew saved 
at 5 p.m. by the united exertions of the St. Ives' and 
Penzance lifeboats. Dreadful destruction of shipping 
at sea in this gale. The emigrant ship, London, 
foundered in the Bay of Biscay with 270 passengers 
and crew. 

January 17. — Richard Hichens, Esq., died at noon 
to-day. 

January 24. — Three vessels, loaded with pressed 
pilchards for the Mediterranean, have been laying 
vvindbound for one month at this port, owing to the 
boisterous state of the weather ; sailed this morning. 

Boats picked up at sea five casks of palm oil. 

January 31. — Cornwall Fishing Company's Annual 
Meeting. 

February 3. — A steamer ashore on Hayle Bar. 

Sailed the Union and Sylph for Wales. 

March 5. — One boat at sea took eight mackerel. 

March 21. — One boat landed 100 mackerel; sold 
for £3. 

March 31. — Promethus, N. Ninnis master, sailed from 
Wales for St. Ives; Isabella, Noall master, left Falmouth 



342 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

for Wales. Both foundered at sea with all hands. 
Queen, passenger steamer, of Hayle, from Bristol for 
Hayle, wrecked at Clovelly. Crew and passengers 
saved. 

April ii. — Drift-boats, from 1,500 down; sold at 
26s. per hundred. 

April 13. — A Mount's Bay boat landed 400 mackerel ; 
sold at 45s. per hundred. 

May 31. — Boats during May have landed good 
catches of mackerel ; sold at excellent prices, from 20s. 
to 36s. per hundred. 

June 17. — The schooner Two Brothers, of Brixham, 
driven on shore at Pednolver Point. Crew saved. The 
Blanch wrecked near Portreath. Crew saved. 

June 19. — The Blanch sold at Portreath for £53. 

June 26. — Mr. Edward Vivian, of Torquay, delivered 
a speech in the Green Court to a great assembly. 

The Wesleyan Bazaar opened. 

July 6. — A great number of boats left for Ireland for 
the herring fishery. 

July 10. — A boat containing a number of people, 
returning to St. Ives from the Band of Hope Gala at 
Hayle, was capsized on Hayle Bar, and two young 
girls, Miss Luke and Miss Harry, were swept away by 
the tide and drowned. 

July 25. — Mr. Knill's festival held this day. The ten 
virgins danced round the steeple. 

August 20. — The seaners put in pay. 

September 10. — The Henry Harvey stranded on Hayle 
Bar. 

September 27. — Mr. Paull's voters had a dinner and 
tea at Tregenna, and the Lelant voters at Trevethoe. 

Bolitho's shot a sean at Porthminster, and Hichens' at 
the Poll. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 343 

October 6. — The Union Company shot a sean on 
floating cinders. 

October 19. — Prince Napoleon landed at 11 a.m. from 
the royal steamer. 

October 27. — Drift-boats, from 2,000 down to 500 
mackerel ; sold at 16s. per hundred. 

October 30. — The Union Company caught a shoal of 
pilchards at Porthminster. 

November 1. — Council men elected: Thomas Cogar, 
Edward Hain, P. B. Berriman, and C. Jenkyn. 

Drift-boats, from 7,000 mackerel down, pilchards 
from 20,000 down, and some few herrings. 

November 5. — Two seans shot at Porthminster, but 
missed the fish. 

November 6. — Two seans shot to-day. 

November 23. — Quick and Co. caught a shoal of fish 
at the Poll, supposed mackerel. Three other seans 
shot on pilchards. 

November 24. — During the night Hichens and Co.'s 
sean and Cornwall Company's sean at Porthminster 
both carried on the Carrack, and all the fish lost. 

At 2 a.m. the house occupied by Thomas Richards 
discovered on fire, the second time during eight months. 
The fire was subdued, after great exertions, by men in 
charge of the fire-engine. 

November 27. — Cornwall Company shot a sean at 
Porthminster; took up fifteen boatloads. 

November 29. — Drift-boats, from 20,000 pilchards ; 
also a great quantity of line fish. 

December 31. — 3,080 hogsheads pilchards exported 
from St. Ives to the Mediterranean this season. 

February 6, 1867. — Fanny Lambert steamer foundered 
near St. Ives. 

March 14. — Schooner Louisa lost at Porthgwidden. 



344 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

February 18, 1868. — The Gipsy schooner, of Chepstow, 
wrecked on the Ridge. Crew saved by the lifeboat. 
A gig was capsized, and one of her crew, Nicholas 
Jacobs, was drowned. 

August 1. — The steam-tug Paragon, Thompson, of 
Shields, when passing through the Inner Sound of 
Godrevy, struck on a rock and was beached at 
Gwithian. Crew saved ; tug became a total wreck. 

August 18. — A French vessel, disabled, ran on shore 
in Hocking's Cove and became a total wreck. Nothing 
whatever heard of the crew. 

August 19. — Abraham Craze, who was killed by the 
bursting of the boiler at Wheal Margery, was buried 
to-day ; he leaves a widow and five children. 

September 1. — Sean fishery commenced to-day, and 
all the seans stemmed, 270 in number, which is 200 too 
many. 

September 2. — One boat from Basset's Bay landed 
32,000 pilchards. 

September 27. — Three seans shot to-day. 

October 14. — Three seans shot to-day. 

October 15. — One drift-boat landed 40,000 pilchards. 

October 17. — Union Company caught a fine shoal of 
fish at Pednolver. 

October 23. — One drift-boat, 1,000 mackerel; sold at 
27s. per hundred. Sean fish all taken up, about 
1,200 hogsheads. 

October 28. — Two seans shot at Carrack Gladden 
and five at Porthminster. 

October 30. — Eighty boatloads of pilchards, or 2,400 
hogsheads, landed to-day. I do not remember such a 
quantity being landed in one day. 

November 9. — Mr. Snaith Hichens re-elected 
Mayor. 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 345 

November n. — Mr. Hichens, re-elected Mayor on 
Monday, died last night at ten o'clock. 

November 16. — The nomination took place to-day in 
the Town Hall, when Mr. Henry Paull, having retired 
from the contest, the Liberal candidate, Mr. Charles 
Magniac, was declared duly elected, he being the only 
person proposed, much to the satisfaction of the large 
majority in the Borough. Great rejoicings took place, 
bonfires, torches, tar-barrels, and illuminations ; bands 
of music perambulated the streets, followed by an 
immense concourse of people. 

November 27. — Pilchards sold at 66s. per hogshead. 

December 7. — Four seans shot to-day : Bolitho's 
caught about 600 hogsheads, Quick and Co. 1,500 
hogsheads. 

December 14. — A heavy gale, S.W. ; much damage 
done to shipping in the Pier. 

December 16. — Captain John Paynter died. 

December 18. — The last fish sold at 63s. per hogs- 
head. 

December 23. — Drift-boats, from 50,000 pilchards 
down; one boat, 10,000 mackerel. Such large catches 
of pilchards at this advanced season never before 
remembered. Sean-boats at sea at Carrack Gladden 
and Porthminster, but no seans shot. 

December 31. — The St. Elwyn, of St. Ives, from this 
port to the Mediterranean with pilchards, put back to 
Falmouth, after being at sea thirty-six days, with loss 
of one man overboard. 

Quantity of pilchards exported from St. Ives this 
season, 9,220 hogsheads. 

January 1, 1869. — Drift-boats landed in all 40,000 
mackerel ; sold at 16s. to 17s. per hundred. 

January 31. — The tide higher to-day than I ever 



346 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

before witnessed. It covered the surface of the Quay 
in places to the extent of one foot. 

February 9. — Mr. Walter Yonge interred to-day ; a 
gentleman much respected by the inhabitants. 

March 5. — Two boats shot for the first time for the 
season, and landed 500 mackerel ; sold at 42s. per 
hundred. 

March 19. — A tremendous gale from the N.W. A 
brig wrecked on Hayle Bar. Crew saved by the life- 
boat. The Sylph, of St. Ives, wrecked near St. Agnes. 
Captain Williams and his crew all drowned. The 
Bristol, of St. Ives, wrecked in Harlyn Bay. Captain 
William Quick, his son, and one man drowned ; two 
men saved. A schooner belonging to Truro wrecked 
on Carrack Gladden Beach. Crew saved by the 
lifeboat. The brig on Hayle Bar is the Lizzie, of 
Newport, from Honduras with mahogany. 

May 10. — Seventeen fishing-boats towed in a large 
vessel, bottom up. 

May 11. — The vessel has to-day been warped into 
shoal water ; supposed to have been laden with Indian 
corn. 

May 13. — A tumult took place on the beach, owing 
to an attempt being made to take the derelict vessel to 
Hayle. The fishermen were threatened with pistols 
by the coastguard, but no harm was done, and the 
attempt to take the vessel away was defeated. 

June 24. — Most of the boats sailed for the Irish 
herring fishery. 

June 26. — The barque Sea Breeze, Captain Thomas 
Harry, from Cardiff, bound to the Mauritius, anchored 
in the Roadstead. 

August iy. — Mr. Magniac, M.P., gave all his voters 
and friends a tea. At night there was a torchlight 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 347 

procession, bands of music, a great concourse of people, 
and great rejoicing. Such a day has not been witnessed 
for many years past. 

August 18. — The swimming matches took place 
to-day. 

Seaners put in pay, 300 seans ; twenty new ones 
this year. 

September 15. — About 11 p.m. a fire was dis- 
covered on the premises occupied by Mr. Francis, 
grocer, Fore Street. The fire was subdued by the 
men in charge of the engine, but much damage was 
done. 

October 7 ; — Two seans shot to-day. 

October 8. — Bolitho's shot at Porthminster. 

October 22. — Ten seans shot to-day at various stems. 

October 23. — The greater part of the fish enclosed 
yesterday proved to be sprat. 

October 27. — The derelict Norwegian brig sold to-day 
by public auction, realized £400. 

November 8. — Five seans shot to-day. 

November 30. — During the whole of this month the 
drift-boats have been landing great catches of pil- 
chards. 

December 17. — Drift-boats still catching pilchards. 
Seaners still in pay. 

December 31. — Quantity of pilchards cured this 
season, 4,880 hogsheads. The quantity exported from 
St. Ives for the twenty-five years, 1845 to 1869, has 
been 207,434 hogsheads, and the average price not less 
than £2 per hogshead. 

January 1, 1870. — The Wolf Rock light lighted to-day 
for general purposes for the first time. 

January 25. — The gigs have been landing large 
catches of sprat. 



348 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

May 16. — East Country boats landed from 300 
mackerel down; sold at 35s. per hundred. 

May 20. — Drift- boats, from 7,000 mackerel down; 
price 13s. to 8s. per hundred. It is supposed that a 
greater quantity has been landed to-day than ever 
before in one day. 

June 16. — A Norwegian brig missed stays and was 
driven on the Western Carrack ; five men got into the 
ship's boat and landed at this port. The Captain got 
on a plank, and after a long struggle was discovered by 
one of the fishing-boats and landed here ; his son and 
three others found a watery grave. 

June 21. — The Captain of the Norwegian brig lost 
on the Western Carrack was interred to-day. 

July 26. — One boat, 200 fine pilchards. 

August 29. — The seaners went into pay this day. 

Seans. 



Bolitho 


.. 60 


Cornwall Company 


.. 60 


Union Company 


•• 57 


Independent Company 


.. 56 


Banfield and Co. 


.. 47 


J. N. Tremcarne 


•• 5 


Sampson Noall 


1 



Total 



286 



In the year 1800 there were fifty-two seans only, 
quite sufficient for the fishery. 

October 12. — The schooner Penguin, Henry Bryant 
master, foundered near Trevose Head. Crew saved. 

October 14. — Banfield and Co. caught a shoal of fish 
at Cam Crowse. 

October 18. — Boats, from 50,000 pilchards down. 

October 21. — Two seans shot at Pednolver. Bolitho's 
was carried round the Head, but the Union Company 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 349 

caught a fine shoal. The drift-boats have been very 
successful this week, landing from 50,000 pilchards 
down to 5,000, with mackerel and herring. 

October 22. — Cornwall Company shot a sean at 
Pednolver. 

October 29. — A great quantity of wreckage washed 
on shore on the eastern part of the Bay, supposed from 
a large vessel called the Geneva, of Liverpool. 

October 31. — The boats at sea picked up several 
casks of spirits. The bowsprit of a large vessel also 
brought in. 

November 2. — More herrings have been landed by 
the drift-boats this morning than have been known for 
thirty years ; sold at 2s. per hundred. 

November 4. — Drift-boats, from 30,000 herring down ; 
sold at 2s. per hundred. 

November 5. — Bolitho's shot at Cam Crowse and 
Porthminster, Banfield and Co. and Sampson Noall at 
Cam Crowse; all missed. 

November 7. — A sean shot at Carrack Gladden on 
thirty gurries of herring. 

November 30. — Drift - boats, from 30,000 pilchards 
down; one boat, 1,200 mackerel. One small boat sunk 
by the weight of fish, and one of the crew, named 
Richard Nicholas, was drowned. 

A Sad Accident 

December 7, 1870. — About midnight on Monday last a 
four-oared gig deeply laden with pilchards upset when 
about a mile from the Pier head. Three of the four 
men were saved after clinging to the boat for more 
than an hour. Andrew Nicholls, who was drowned, 
leaves a widow and four children. 

On the following afternoon a collision took place 



35o PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

between two pilchard-boats when beating out of the 
Pier, when the Nonpareil sunk. Crew saved. 

December 10. — Landed at Penzance the unfortunate 
crew of the brigantine Bessie, of St. Ives, taken from 
their sinking vessel on November 29, fifty miles west 
of the Azores. 

December 31. — Total quantity of pilchards exported 
to the Mediterranean from St. Ives this season, 2,416 
hogsheads, chiefly drift-fish. 

A "lane of fish" was reported by the drivers 
on December 1, as extending from Bassett's Bay 
to St. Ives' Bay, on which occasion some drivers 
caught 40,000 fish per boat. 

Four hundred hogsheads herrings, cured in the 
county as pilchards, were exported to Italy, and 
realized 52s. per hogshead to curers. 

February 8, 1871. — A schooner, bound from Yougal 
to Southampton with a cargo of oats, parted her cables, 
and was driven on shore on Carrack Gladden beach. 
Crew saved by the lifeboat. 

April 18. — East Country boats, from 800 mackerel 
down, very large fish ; sold as high as ,£3 per hundred. 

May 3. — Drift-boats, from 3,000 down. 

June 5. — The Gannet steamer wrecked under Morvah 
Cliffs. 

August 17. — The schooner Superior, of St. Ives, 
foundered off Padstow. Crew saved. 

August 21. — Seaners went into pay. 

September 14. — The crew of the French vessel Jane, 
of Havre, landed here. Ship lost at sea ; two men 
drowned. 

October 23. — Five seans shot to-day at Porthminster. 

December 31. — The total quantity of pilchards cured 
this season in St. Ives is 26,1 16 hogsheads, the greatest 



JOHN TREGERTHEN SHORT 351 

year on record, with the exception of the year 1847, 
when over 31,000 hogsheads were exported from 
St. Ives. The seans number 285. About 400 hogsheads 
were sold fresh, and some cured fish have been kept 
over until next year. A very large number of vessels 
have loaded here for various Mediterranean ports, the 
schooner Margaret Hain, of St. Ives, taking the largest 
cargo ever shipped in a sailing vessel. Many thousands 
of hogsheads died in the nets owing to the seans being- 
warped into too shoal water. On November 15 the 
drift-boats had the largest catches on record, from 
50,000 down per boat. Several boats lost their nets 
from the weight of fish. 

January 4, 1872. — Captain Hannibal Thomas was 
interred to-day. 

January 13. — One boat landed 1,000 pilchards. 

January 24. — Mrs. Hain died this morning. 



THE GATEWAY OF FRANCE 

By SIR EDWARD HAIN 

(From the Ladies' Field) 

The majority of folk who have journeyed for pleasure 
through the Ardennes and along the banks of the 
beautiful " Belgian Rhine " have never thought of 
penetrating as far as Givet. The probabilities are 
they never even realized that such a place existed, 
much less that ioo years ago it loomed large in the 
consciousness of some hundreds of Englishmen. It is 
probable that I, too, might have been as little interested 
in it as the majority of tourists, had it not been that 
when a boy at St. Ives I had personal recollections of 
two old gentlemen who had been prisoners of war in 
France from 1804 to 1 ^ I 4> and having their journals in 
my possession, I purposed publishing them in book 
form. With that object in view I visited Ostend, 
Namur, Dinant, and Givet a year ago, little thinking 
that the beautiful and then peaceful Ardennes would 
so soon be the centre of a great European war, the 
towns and villages through which we passed bearing 
the first shock of the German attack, or that when 
interested in the St. Ives prisoners of war at Givet of 
100 years ago, two of my own steamers would be 
captured in German ports, and over fifty men, including 
many from St. Ives, would be prisoners of war in the 
hands of the Germans. 

352 



THE GATEWAY OF FRANCE 353 

Givet is, properly speaking, two towns, lying one on 
either side of the River Meuse, and when I started on 
my two days' motor run from Ostend to investigate 
the place for myself, the manager of the hotel was 
distinctly unsympathetic. Givet ? — of no account, that 
he had ever heard. Now, Dinant with its wonder 
grotto might well attract the tourist from afar; but 
Givet ! However, the eccentric Britisher should have 
his way, seeing that he was willing to pay for it ; and 
a first-rate car, with an English-speaking chauffeur, 
was promptly forthcoming. During the two days' run 
I observed that the chauffeur was of Italian nationality, 
and that his English was scarcely more comprehensive 
than my French, his most fluent utterance occurring 
in Brussels, where we were held up for "smoking." 
There it was that after the endorsement of his licence 
by the gendarme he observed, with every evidence of 
conviction, " Zat man ees a damn fool !" Looking back 
on that peaceful journey over the stone-paved Belgium 
roads — which to English notions are somewhat jarring 
— betwixt rows of straight poplars which border the 
roads for miles and seem only broken by the occurrence 
of villages, with here and there a flame of maple foliage 
to break the monotony, it seems incredible that to-day 
those rural scenes should be the scene of bloody war- 
fare, for it is along this very line that gallant little 
Belgium has kept the gate for Europe during the past 
few days. My road from Brussels took me through 
Wavre — where the Prussians under Bliicher were 
defeated by the French in the Waterloo Campaign — 
to Namur, that delightful town dominated by the 
Citadel, through Dinant, then to Givet. There are two 
roads into Givet, and my chauffeur took the wrong one, 
thus avoiding the Belgium octroi, greatly to the sus- 

2.3 



354 PRISONERS OF WAR IN FRANCE 

picion of the officials, who took considerable pains 
when we emerged again to see that the car contained 
nothing of a dutiable nature. They even looked under 
the seats and into the tool-box, not omitting my luggage, 
naturally. 

On the beauty of the drive along the left bank of the 
Meuse I need not descant, since it is well known to the 
traveller in Belgium, with its range of silver-grey hills 
half-buried in magnificent woodlands, whence rocks 
and crags emerge every now and then in fantastic 
formation. But, as I have said, few journey beyond 
Dinant or trouble to cross the Belgian frontier to the 
" Gate of France," as the fortress of Charlemont has 
been called. The two towns of Givet are connected 
by a bridge, on which I halted to discover, if possible, 
the whereabouts of a long, low building of which I had 
seen a sketch executed in captivity by one of the old 
gentlemen aforesaid. It was not unnatural that in one 
hundred years the face of the ancient town should have 
altered somewhat, and at first I could discern no trace 
of the objective of my visit. 

The united efforts of the chauffeur and myself to 
obtain information from the oldest inhabitant — our 
vocabulary and, in particular, our command of French 
idiom, being of a most limited description — only suc- 
ceeded in persuading the townspeople that we were 
undesirable aliens with connections who had been in 
prison ! I can see the disapproving expression on the 
face of one portly dame who stood and gazed upon us 
— more in sorrow than in anger — and shook her head 
with the apparent conviction that the blameless Italian 
and myself were escaping convicts. Over a cup of tea 
in the somewhat primitive Hotel d'Angleterre, in the 
hot and dusty square, I found, however, an unexpected 



THE GATEWAY OF FRANCE 355 

source of enlightenment in a set of picture post-cards. 
The hotel was kept by a typical French trio, pere, 
mere, and mademoiselle (their daughter). To the latter 
I laboriously and haltingly explained my quest for a 
"building long and low at the riverside," where 100 
years ago English prisoners of war had been interned. 
" Mais c'est le caserne," she cried. And speedily 
picture post-cards were forthcoming illustrating the 
certainty that not only did the long, low building of 
my old friend's sketch still exist, but that it is to-day 
in use as a barracks for the French garrison. 

I climbed the steep ascent to the dominating fortress 
of Charlemont and crossed the drawbridge, and was 
taken by a sentry to the guard-house. Here I obtained 
permission to go round under the escort of a soldier, 
who conducted me right through the fortress to the 
gateway on the further side. 

Descending by a steep path to the lower road, a 
sharp turn to the right disclosed the object of my 
search, the long barrack building in which, from 1804 
to 1814, hundreds of British sailors, prisoners of war, 
had been confined. E^ond the barracks the main 
road to Paris runs for some distance along the left 
bank of the Meuse, and passes through the fortification 
of Charlemont over an ancient drawbridge known as 
the "Gateway of France." 



CONCLUDING NOTE 

One hundred years have passed since the St. Ives 
prisoners of war were released from their ten years' 
captivity in France, and once again Europe is devastated 
by war upon a gigantic scale. 

Along the line upon which the St. Ives sailors 
marched on their journey from Dieppe to Givet in 1804, 
the allied armies of England and France are engaged 
in sweeping back the tide of German invasion. 

Heavy fighting has taken place at Cambrai, Le 
Cateau, Landrecies, Valenciennes, and other places 
mentioned in their journals, while the gloomy fortress 
of Maubeuge, in which a hundred years ago British 
prisoners of war were confined in subterranean 
dungeons, has been relieved by a British army. 

Meziers and Verdun are in the main line of the 
French defence, while Givet and Charlemont, having 
failed to hold the passage of the Meuse, have been 
isolated from the rest of France. 

This great struggle, the issue of which still hangs in 
the balance, would seem to have no connection with 
the simple narratives contained in this book, except in 
so far as the story of the sufferings and privations 
endured by British prisoners of war in France one 
hundred years ago may derive additional interest from 
the stupendous events which in September, 1914, are 
being enacted upon the same stage. 



BILLING AND SONS. LTD.. PRINTERS, «,llILL>KOKr. 



A LIST OF THE LIBRARIES 
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